What happens when Arlington is full?

This is something I’ve been wondering about lately. It’s no secret that Arlington National Cemetery is running out of room for new burials, and that it will be full in the not-too-distant future. Are there any plans in place for what will happen then? Will a new national cemetery be designated? Or will veterans just have to be satisfied with regular local cemeteries?

There are 131 other national cemeteries around the US, and new ones are added from time to time. Arlington is just the best known and most prestigious. When it’s full, veterans will just use the others.

They’ll stop burying people there.

Seriously, the plan is to expand until there is no where left to expand to at the current site. They are in the process of acquiring the nearby Navy Annex land, which they think will hold them until about 2060. After that I don’t believe they are worried about right now.

One solution would be to stop starting wars and reduce the supply.

Naah…too easy.

The dead will walk the Earth?

The VA has already designated additional national cemeteries, and they’re already being used.

For example, Abraham Lincoln National Cemeteryis a huge facility on the grounds of the former Joliet Arsenal near Chicago and won’t be filling up anytime soon: the plan is up to 400,000 slots on 982 acres! :eek:

You do realize that you don’t have to be killed in action to be buried in Arlington, don’t you? Eventually all soldiers are going to need a place to be buried, combat related demise or not.

Not to be crass, but isn’t there a bit of prestige to be buried at Arlington rather than another national cemetery?

Some national cemeteries are full, already.

I talked with the director of the Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California. When that cemetery is fully developed, it will become the largest national cemetery in the US, with a couple million gravesites.

All you want to know is here:


There’s more than a bit. It is a huge honor to be buried at Arlington.

Yes, indeed, and some people are willing to lie, or use political juice, to be buried there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Lawrence

Sure, but the fewer wars, the fewer soldiers. Besides, even though I am eligible to be buried in a military cemetery, I wouldn’t be caught dead using it.

That’s an odd attitude (pun aside). Care to explain?

I was impressed into service against my will for a war that should never have been fought, was a waste of resources and none of our business. Unfortunately, too many of them fall into that category lately.

Somehow I doubt the dead care where they’re buried.

Obviously not, but some people make arrangements while they’re still alive, and otherwise, it does matter to the survivors.

Like my friend’s dad, who served during the Korean War, but in a motor pool in Germany. He felt the ‘real vets’ (i.e., the ones who were shot at) deserved the honor, not him. He was buried elsewhere.

My father is buried at Riverside. Beautiful location, right across the freeway from what used to be March AFB. They have lots of room left.

Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery (in Michigan) is very small, and probably hasn’t seen a new burial in about 200 years. I suspect that many of the cemeteries on that list are similar. Still, I didn’t know that there were other large national cemeteries. I thought that Arlington was the national cemetery.

As noted above, there’s an effort afoot to locate additional space near Arlington, or at least near DC. Once Arlington is full, that new space will become the new “prestige” location for veteran’s burials.

And as others have said, of course all the other vet’s cemetaries around the country are still available.

The fact that anybody who ever served in any capacity and didn’t get in trouble is eligible for a vet’s burial is a bit strange. http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/bbene/eligible.asp. I think the majority of civilians think the national cemetaries contain only soldiers who were killed in wartime. In fact a lot are just folks who served in some role for some years.

As a vet myself I’m a bit conflicted about where the cutoff ought to be. I’m not sure somebody who worked in personnel in Ohio from 1962 to 1964 and who died of a heart attack in 2010 should be buried next to somebody who jumped on a grenade in Viet Nam or Kuwait.