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Arlington Panel Calls for End to Memento Exception

Posted by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM
  • 12 Replies

Arlington Panel Calls for End to Memento Exception

Nov 21, 2013

WASHINGTON โ€” An advisory commission is recommending that Arlington National Cemetery end its relaxed policy on mementos in a section for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of next year.

The Washington Post reports that the panel led by former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran, made the recommendation Tuesday to the secretary of the Army. The commission says it is fitting to end the exception to the cemetery's policy, which allows only flowers and small photographs, as troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The familiar image of rows of white gravestones at Arlington should be preserved, commission members said.

 

Families of servicemembers buried in Section 60 objected to the removal of items left at grave sites and a compromise allowed a small photo and a handmade memento to be left through April, when normal maintenance resumes.

Some families' decorations extended to wind chimes and holiday lights, said Chet Edwards, a commission member and a former Democratic congressman from Texas.

"While there are families with individual ways of grieving, we have an obligation to preserve for future generations consistent standards at Arlington National Cemetery," Edwards said. "What's been harder and harder for us to defend is there's a standard for Section 60 and even within Section 60."

Family representatives acknowledge those items distract from the solemn atmosphere, but say tasteful mementos should be allowed.

"This is part of our grieving process," said Paula Davis, whose son Justin is buried there. "It might be generational. We personalize the graves. We don't just stand there and pray."

reposted from military dot com

 

by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Reina13
by Reina on Nov. 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

 I don't know how I feel about this one. It is such a personal topic.

jas_momof2

If you have a problem with it - don't bury them there.

TonyaLea
by Silver Member on Nov. 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I thought they already decided to do this?  I posted an article a couple months ago where they went and cleared off allthe graves in that section.

ETA; nevermind, I just realized the exception was made after they clearned off all the graves because all the families were unhappy.

JMmama
by Kara on Nov. 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM
The problem with allowing "tasteful" momentoes is that everyone's definition of tasteful is not the same. If it is important to a family to be able to decorate a gravesite, perhaps Arlington is not the best choice for them to bury their loved one. I think allowing a flower and a small photograph is pretty reasonable.
Soniam301
by Sonia on Nov. 21, 2013 at 9:23 PM
1 mom liked this
When they can control tourists taking videos and taking pictures of funerals at Arlington like its a Vegas street show, then they can decide what's left on the graves. Families grieve. If my son wants to leave a paper airplane or a toy on his dad's grave I sure as hell am not going to tell him no.
adrianna1043
by Adrianna on Nov. 21, 2013 at 9:43 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with this. I've been there many times and I think people need to be left alone. The war isn't really even over, give them a few more years. Sometimes the tourists are very disrespectful.

Quoting Soniam301:

When they can control tourists taking videos and taking pictures of funerals at Arlington like its a Vegas street show, then they can decide what's left on the graves. Families grieve. If my son wants to leave a paper airplane or a toy on his dad's grave I sure as hell am not going to tell him no.
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Nov. 22, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Definitely a very personal thing...

anchorgurl
by Silver Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 6:40 AM

 I agree with this.  Being buried at Arlington comes with certain expectations.  If you can't accept the limitations on what is permissible, it's probably best to bury your loved one in a different place.

Quoting JMmama:

The problem with allowing "tasteful" momentoes is that everyone's definition of tasteful is not the same. If it is important to a family to be able to decorate a gravesite, perhaps Arlington is not the best choice for them to bury their loved one. I think allowing a flower and a small photograph is pretty reasonable.

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Quoting jas_momof2:

If you have a problem with it - don't bury them there.


this
Soniam301
by Sonia on Nov. 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM
some people don't have that choice...

Quoting Anonymous:

Quoting jas_momof2:

If you have a problem with it - don't bury them there.


this
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