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McHugh vows Arlington grave probe

Nov. 14, 2009 at 12:34 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Alleged loss of accountability of graves and poor record keeping at Arlington National Cemetery will be probed, U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh has vowed.

McHugh pledged Friday to start an investigation after it was revealed Arlington cemetery workers last year inadvertently buried cremated remains at a grave site already occupied and questions arose over whether cemetery officials had used proper procedures to correct the mistake, including notifying the next of kin, the Defense Department said in a statement.

"This is the place where valor rests, a place of reverence and respect for all Americans," McHugh said, directing the Army's inspector general to begin an investigation into the allegations. "As the final resting place of our nation's heroes, any questions about the integrity or accountability of its operations should be examined in a manner befitting their service and sacrifice."

A separate investigation turned up evidence of an unmarked grave, the Pentagon said.

"Cemetery records, the (Military District of Washington) investigation, and the non-invasive geophysical analysis of the grave sites strongly indicate that a husband and wife, who died years apart and should have been buried in the same gravesite, were instead buried in adjacent graves," said Col. Dan Baggio, a spokesman for the military district.

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