ARLINGTON, Va. –The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery (ACANC) hosted a roundtable with 23 veterans and military service organizations on Tuesday, Jan. 30 to solicit feedback to help shape options to extend the life of the cemetery.
The dialog generated at the event along with a previous survey, which is part of an ongoing two-year National Dialogue, showed that respondents are willing to address tough choices such has eligibility for those who had served at least 1 day on active duty and the current 2 million retiree population in order to allow Arlington National Cemetery to remain open for burials. Other survey results presented were:
- Most respondents recognized the need to change eligibility policy regardless of potential future expansions in order to extend the life of the cemetery.
- If expansion is not possible, seventy percent of respondents told us that action should be taken to restrict eligibility at ANC.
- Those who felt rules should change also felt strongly that the cemetery should remain open for those who have been killed in action or performed extraordinary actions in combat.
Ms. Renea Yates, Deputy Superintendent for Cemetery Administration, Arlington National Cemetery, stated, “Arlington National Cemetery will reach capacity in approximately 23 years. Given the limited amount of land available to ANC, eligibility is the only way to address the challenge of keeping ANC open for future interments for generations to come.”
Next, Arlington National Cemetery will be preparing a more refined survey to address their most strategic goal: to shape potential eligibility changes that ensure a balance between future available space and the demand for new burials. After the completion of the second survey, expected before Memorial Day, those results and any recommendation the Advisory Committee chooses to make will be given to the Secretary of the Army for his consideration.
“We are committed to all-inclusive and open dialog with our veterans and military service organizations and the American people. This Advisory Committee process helps us do that’ said Katharine Kelley, Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, “The importance of this national symbol demands a deliberate and inclusive public process while we contemplate how best to keep Arlington open and active.”
More information on the second survey will be available in the weeks to come and everyone is welcomed to voice their opinions.
For more information about the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery please visit: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/About/Advisory-Committee-on-Arlington-National-Cemetery/ACANC-Meetings.
National Dialogue information may be found at: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/News/Post/4178.