A National Travesty

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Mike King
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Of all the corruption real and perceived inside Interstate 495, affectionately known as the Beltway, none exemplifies the sheer incompetence and outright negligence of our federal government any more so than the scandal breaking regarding the mismanagement of our National Cemetery at Arlington. At last count there may be as many as seven thousand mistakenly marked graves. And this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Rest assured the grave of the likes of the late Senator from Massachusetts will be correctly marked, but what of the relatively few remaining heroes of our so-called Greatest Generation? Those who miraculously survived some of the most hellish scenes on earth in places like Guadalcanal, Tarawa. Iwo Jima, Bastogne, and Battaan, only to return and build a nation that earned the envy of the world for decades. Never mind those of the Chosin Reservoir or of Pusan or those some sixty years ago saw the Yalu River first hand, or even those shunned Americans who survived the jungles of South Viet Nam whose recognition came along as their children deployed to the Gulf in the liberation of Kuwait. Now as an entire nation stands behind each and every man or woman in uniform whose selfless service to each of us is finally appreciated, our government cannot muster the courtesy to accurately show our families where the best of this nation lays in rest. Nor does this debacle merit front-page news within our national media.

Our leaders in Washington place far more emphasis on challenging a state trying to protect its southern border, a responsibility clearly dropped by those in Washington, than doing right by the families of our nations fallen. These same leaders have managed to evade responsibility time and again by the virtual purchase of ballot boxes, while kneeling to the demands of federal unions and special interests. Of greater importance in Washington is that of political correctness than actually holding anyone accountable.

For any American who has taken the time to walk the rolling hills, once the property of Robert E Lee, realizes the true cost of freedom lies not in monetary figures, but with the souls required to pay that ultimate sacrifice so that others may live as they choose. No greater honor can be bestowed than that bestowed upon those who risked all for his/her nation. Have those inside the Beltway taken for granted the cost associated in preserving their way of life? Are they callous to the anguish and grief borne by a recently widowed mother? Have they disassociated themselves from those parents whose grief they cannot fathom? It takes a great deal to stir the ire of this nation’s heartland, but let it be known that our nation’s capital is on the right track.

On my last visit to Arlington, there were but three graves marked “Known But To God..” We are comforted in knowing that He will not forsake them.

Courthouserules
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MIKE: Arlington

You probably are correct that Senator Kennedy is buried at Arlington, but I wouldn't necessarily bet that that is where the "index cards" at the office say he is. I don't think those responsible for allowing the many ways these cards and locations were shuffled did anything by name---just sheer inattention.

I did happen to see a professional historian recently who said that the records were kept better during the Civil War than since concerning the cemetery. Also, although a computerized system was tried recently it isn't working---index cards (loose) are still used for about 4-500,000 grave sites (maybe).

The historian also mentioned that the military is in top command of that cemetery and supervise the operating personnel. Regrettably, the historian noted, these supervisors were rotated very often and by the time they could determine a problem they were replaced. In some cases when the military commander asked the operating people about certain things, they were told that it was already under investigation and that they didn't see
any serious problems---they then put the officer off until he was transferred.

Apparently no transfer of usable information was transferred from one supervisor to the next, or told anything by the operating people.

The story repeats over and over for many, many years said the historian.

There likely will be books written and even congressional investigations performed Mike, but it will probably be on the same pattern as will ours here in Fayette with the judicial system. Hundreds of people will not get new trials when they obviously should, and no one will go to jail at either place. Pension off, retire, transfer, and release the prisoners---at least some of them.

No different for Arlington! Or at the Arizona border. If we don't "regulate" as we go, it is impossible to do so when it is too serious.
I know conservatives don't like regulation but capitalism and making of jobs spread things wrongly, often. You know "robber barons, Seven Sisters oil companies, and even cemeteries!

Courthouserules
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MIKE: addendum

I meant to throw in a "whizbanger" and forgot.

Remember that the Bush Administration wouldn't let the arrival of dead soldiers into the USA be filmed, or even people to go see the arrival?

I'm still ticked off about all of our soldiers buried on Islands at sea, and European fields of which we know nothing about exactly who and what is in them.

The only purpose that a grave serves, in my opinion, is to learn something for the future----learn from the past. We are the worst to do that.

Courthouserules
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Sorry: but this is awful

Read at least some of the 100,000 documents that were released by a soldier to a web site and ask yourself these questions:

Who wrote, originally, those comments in the field? Was it a Sergeant or a commanding officer revision?

How much of it by the field writer is absolutely true or how much did he or she write for command vision?

If only 25% of it is accurate we have Viet-Nam ground war and Abu-Ghraib again! We send our true heroes in and then lie about what happened by instruction.

I have no answer as to whether the soldier should have released these what amounts to field diaries---I think not but obviously he was nuts or didn't trust his officers. Unfortunately another "hearing."

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