An advisory commission is recommending that Arlington National Cemetery end its relaxed policy on mementos left on graves in Section 60 where those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Any such change would take place by the end of 2014.
The panel led by former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran, says it is fitting to end the exception to the cemetery's policy, which allows only flowers and small photographs, as troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.
Families of service members buried in Section 60 objected to the removal of items left at grave sites and a compromise allowed a small photo and a handmade memento to be left through April, when normal grass cutting resumes.
Arlington Cemetery has about 300,000 headstones, and more than 2,000 active-duty military have been buried there since Sept. 11, 2001. The Washington Post reports that Section 60 is one of five areas were burials are being conducted, but its 18 acres also contain graves of veterans of the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II.