Arlington National Cemetery is the nation’s most sacred burial ground for veterans and their families. It is a national shrine, a symbol of courage and sacrifice throughout our nation’s history.
By now, I’m sure many of you have heard the recent, disturbing news about mismanagement at Arlington. Like you, I was horrified when I heard about the unmarked and mismarked graves of veterans who have fought and died for our country.
I will not stand for this unacceptable situation. I’ve undertaken an aggressive investigation into what happened at Arlington and will work to ensure that all past mistakes are corrected and future problems are prevented. This disgrace is an example of contracting gone bad. The old method of paper recordkeeping used by Arlington is extremely prone to human error and efforts to digitize these records have failed due to lack of oversight of private contractors responsible for the work.
I recently chaired a hearing in the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight to hold the cemetery’s managers and the Army leadership accountable for their failures. At that hearing, I also heard directly from Kathryn Condon, the newly-appointed Army official responsible for cemetery operations. She assured me that the problems would be fixed, and I plan to hold her accountable to ensure that it happens.
Americans expect more from their government, and our veterans and their families certainly deserve better. I will continue to work to make sure that our nation’s fallen heroes receive the respect they deserve.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
McCaskill: Our veterans and their families deserve better
In a newsletter sent out this evening, Sen. Claire McCaskill addressed the hearings her subcommittee recently held on mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery: