Missouri Senator Says Up To 6600 Graves At Arlington Could Be Misidentified

July 29th, 2010 - 11:43 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

July 29 (THAINDIAN NEWS) A Missouri Senate Democrat has stated that as many as 6600 graves which are located at Arlington National Cemetery could have been misidentified because of the failure of the managers to do their jobs properly, an estimate that is far above the 211 remains that the Army investigators announced were affected last month.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri gave a speech on Thursday at a hearing where the former superintendent and deputy superintendent were expected to testify. In her statement McCaskill revealed that she fears anywhere from 4900 to 6600 graves have been affected in this horrible scandal, and may have been left unmarked or mislabeled on the maps of the cemetery.

John Metzler, who was the superintendent of the cemetery for 19 years was forced to quit the job after the news broke of the mis-marked graves. In front of the Senate Committee which was held on Thursday he revealed that he was sorrowful that his team did not do there jobs. Metzler expressed his “sincere regrets to the families” and says that he accepts “full responsibility” for the mix-ups.

But according to the ‘Washington Post’, these issues were documented in 2005, but nothing was ever done about the problem. Senate documents reveal that a contractor, which was hired five years ago to test how accurate the maps for the famous military burial ground were, told the officials for the cemetery that the graves were not marked correctly, even though over 5 million dollars was spent in the supposed digitized system of mapping the site.

Amidst the scandal, superintendent John C Metzler, who is 62 and deputy superintendent Thurmond Higginbotham who is 68, were allowed to retire. An investigation is still underway in the case. “This problem has been festering for so long. It is the kind of environment where we know waste occurs,” McCaskill said. “The question is, was there fraud?”

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