Mapping Arlington's Grave Mix-Ups

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April 28, 2011
Almost a year after an inspector general's probe confirmed that the Army had effectively lost control of Arlington National Cemetery, it now appears that the problem of misidentified graves and potential burial mix-ups at the nation's sacred resting place is far worse than the Army has acknowledged. The problem starts with Arlington's confusing, often conflicting internal burial records, which may or may not reflect an actual problem in the ground. To help understand the mess, TIME created the graphic below identifying some of the issues in just one section (64) of the 624-acre site. TIME tried to contact next of kin affiliated with every grave in this exhibit, with mixed success. Some family members said they were vexed by the fact that they had not heard from Arlington first. TIME could not track down relatives linked to some of the older graves, while other families did not return phone calls.

Text by Mark Benjamin; TIME graphic by Simon Fung
Map Imagery: ©2011 Google, DigitalGlobe, Sanborn, GeoEye, Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Geological Survey, District of Columbia (DC GIS), USDA Farm Service Agency; Map data: ©2011 Google