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Young calls for hearings on Arlington problems

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, is calling for a congressional hearing about misidentified and misplaced remains at Arlington National Cemetery.

Young directed the request to the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies in a June 11 letter to the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas.

"This hallowed ground is not only to be a final resting place for our honored fallen, but it is also a place to bring closure to their families," wrote Young, who serves on the subcommittee. "There is no room for error in this mission, and the level of negligence is almost beyond comprehension."

Arlington, considered the nation's most hallowed ground, has been the burial site of more than 300,000 people dating to the Civil War. Located on 612 acres in Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the cemetery conducts an average of 30 funerals a day.

An Army investigation found that at least 211 remains were potentially misplaced or mislabeled, among other problems.

Army Secretary John McHugh said last week that the cemetery's two civilian leaders would be forced out and that he was appointing a new cemetery chief to conduct a more thorough investigation.

The House Armed Services chairman, Rep. Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat, announced Friday that his committee will investigate the controversy, calling problems at Arlington "disgraceful."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3432.

Young calls for hearings on Arlington problems 06/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 10:06pm]
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