Inside Politics

Headstones missing, misplaced at Phila. cemetery

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Behind the gates of the Philadelphia National Cemetery - where those who bravely fought for this country have been laid to rest - an internal audit discovered neglect.

The audit found missing or misplaced headstones for 13 gravesites at the cemetery in West Oak Lane.

"Well I felt the same sense of outrage I think anyone does," said Senator Bob Casey Jr.

Senator Casey is moving fast to get the Department of Veteran Affairs to review all veteran cemeteries in Pennsylvania.

Casey sent a letter Saturday asking for the investigation.

"We need to do everything we can to give those families peace of mind that they deserve when they have a loved one in those cemeteries and I've asked the Veterans Administration to do a further review," he said.

Five other cemeteries around the country had similar problems.

The Veteran's Administration has already decided to review all 131 cemeteries under its control.

They released a statement saying that they apologize to the families affected by these errors and that they strive to operate the best cemetery system in the world.

The Veteran's Administration also said that they take immediate corrective actions any time an issue is identified.

In 2010, Action News reported about an investigation that uncovered more than 200 graves that were unmarked or misidentified at Arlington National Cemetery.

In November of last year, officials at Dover Air Force Base said body parts of dead troops were cremated and mishandled between 2003 and 2008.

"It's about basic respect and reverence but it's also about making sure in this case that a government agency does its job," said Senator Casey.

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