Commemoration Overshadows Recent Turmoil At Arlington Cemetery | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Commemoration Overshadows Recent Turmoil At Arlington Cemetery

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It's been a year of unprecedented controversy at Arlington National Cemetery, but that didn't stop thousands of visitors from streaming onto the nation's most hallowed ground to commemorate Veterans Day. Amidst the history, bravery, sadness and celebration that marks every Veterans Day, this year, there is also some uncertainty.

After recent revelations of improperly handled bodies, and gravestones, and thousands of mislabeled graves -- a new leadership team must win back the trust of at least some Americans.

But visitors such as Charles Fuller are all rooting for this sacred place, even as they wonder how things could have gone wrong.

"It kinda makes you think a little bit, 'God, how could they bury somebody in the wrong person's grave, after all they done for the country?' And then you kind of feel like, 'God, please let them get it right,'" Fuller says.

Chaplain Major Crystal Jones, a reservist at Andrews Air Force Base, has been to the cemetery dozens of times to help those grieving for lost ones at funerals.

But today, as she walks through the cemetery holding the hands of her two young daughters, she's here as a visitor. And she says it's different.

"This time was probably more emotional, because I'm not on duty. But yes, it's special every time," Jones says.

More than 5,000 people attended a special ceremony in the amphitheater today. Several thousand more came through to pay their respects.

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