Arlington National Cemetery chief, families work out a compromise on displays of mementos
ARLINGTON, Va. — Arlington National Cemetery is relaxing its policies to allow family members of those buried in its section for victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave behind small mementos and photos to honor those soldiers, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Section 60 is the part of the cemetery that is home to most of those killed in recent fighting.
Families in that section had been leaving stones, photos and other mementos at their loved ones' gravesites, even though cemetery policy strictly regulates such impromptu memorials.
Responding to complaints, cemetery staff cleaned out some of those memorials recently. Then families who had left the mementos complained about their removal.
Patrick Hallinan is executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery. He met with Section 60 families on Oct. 6 and worked out a compromise that will allow displays through the fall and winter months when the grass doesn't need to be cut often, said cemetery spokeswoman Jennifer Lynch.
Officials emphasized that unsightly items anything affixed to headstones, dangerous items such as tobacco, alcohol, ammunition and glass, as well as any item that might pose a risk to workers or visitors are prohibited.
Lynch said the cemetery will review its regulations and policies to see if long-term accommodation can be made.
Officials said small mementos will be permitted. Photos will be allowed but cannot be taped to headstones, Lynch said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B
- Scientists: Earth in midst of 6th ‘mass extinction’
- Virginia company targets military, families