The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Can Trump Be Buried At Arlington

Elaine Sutton
• Monday, 30 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Some military members are expressing opposition to the potential plans, claiming it is an attempt by President Trump to ensure that he will be laid to rest at the famous cemetery when he eventually passes away. Back in September, the Defense Department sought feedback on potential plans to restrict who could be buried at Arlington, saying that they were fast running out of space.

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Nearly all the 22 million living armed forces members and veterans are eligible for less than 95,000 remaining burial spaces within these hallowed grounds, a statement from the cemetery read. In order to will keep Arlington functioning as an active burial ground into the future, the Pentagon proposed restricting in-ground interments to recipients of the Purple Heart, former POW's, and those killed in action or combat related services.

The Pentagon people allowed 60 days to comment on the proposal, with The Wall Street Journal reporting Sunday that many veterans were left less than impressed. 'I strongly feel that interment or internment in Arlington National Cemetery should be limited to those who actually served in the military to maintain the respect for their sacrifice,' one comment read.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., said the legislation is aimed at preserving the limited space left available in the cemetery for those who have served in the Armed Forces. Late last summer, the Army proposed tightening eligibility requirements by restricting below-ground burial to service members killed in action, combat veterans awarded the Silver Star or above, Purple Heart recipients, former POW's and troops whose deaths were combat-related.

“Sadly, as the number grows, it’s becoming clear that if Arlington National Cemetery is to continue operating as an active burial ground that honors those sacrifices well into the future, eligibility requirements must be restricted. The bill also clarifies that serving as Commander-in-Chief or vice president is not to count as military service, for purposes of burial.

It awaits a potential vote in the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. It’s also possible it could be folded into the larger annual National Defense Authorization Act (NCAA) legislation.

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This article was written by GovT rack Insider staff writer Jesse Griffin. The cemetery is nearing capacity, and the Army, which operates it, has proposed to restrict eligibility criteria.

Duckworth has been a longtime critic of Trump and his medical exemption from the Vietnam War draft. Only two U.S. presidents are buried at Arlington National Cemetery: William Howard Taft, who died in 1930, and John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.

Under rules now, most veterans and military retirees are eligible for either above- or below-ground burial in Arlington. The Army proposed restricting below-ground burial to service members killed in action, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, combat veterans who were awarded the Silver Star or above, service members who had combat-related deaths and combat veterans who also served as government officials and “made significant contributions to the nation’s security at the highest levels of public service.” In addition, Arlington plans to reserve 1,000 burial plots for Medal of Honor recipients.

As the debate about the restrictions continues, Duckworth said she wants to prioritize burial spots for “those who gave their lives to defend and protect the nation.” Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, introduced a bill Wednesday designed to stop an extension of burial benefits at Arlington National Cemetery to U.S. presidents or vice presidents, regardless of their military service.

The Illinois Democrat said Wednesday that recommendations made last year by the U.S. Army that would drastically reduce eligibility for in-ground burials at Arlington but expand eligibility for some civilians, including presidents or vice presidents, would “take the place of actual veterans who served in uniform and their family members.” To preserve the space left at the cemetery, Duckworth said, no burial plot should be reserved for non-veterans.

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Currently, with military retirees eligible for ground burials and veterans who left service under honorable conditions eligible to have their ashes contained in the cemetery's columbarium or niche wall, the Army estimates the cemetery will be full within 25 years. Duckworth charges that the recommendation to extend eligibility to presidents and vice presidents was made outside the normal process and without consulting the committee that drafts recommendations for the cemetery, the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery.

The only U.S. presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery are John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft. Taft served as Secretary of War, and later, after the presidency, chief justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pro- Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election.

Nurse Sandra Lindsay receives the second dose of a Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, at Long Island Jewish Medical Center January 4, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York City. So far, only about 88,000 people have received the vaccine in New York.

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.


Juliana answered a range of questions relating to the issues surrounding the impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump, and other issues during the briefing. Protestors storm the Capitol building during a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks prior to the holiday at the Queen theater on December 22, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden spoke ahead of the Christmas holiday and called the $900 billion coronavirus aid bill passed by Congress on Monday a start, insisting on more economic relief after the inauguration.

President Trump ’s struggles to stand still during a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery lit up social media Monday, prompting users to recall past incidents in which the commander in chief, who turns 74 next month, battled to find a balance. “Is the President having trouble standing up straight as the National Anthem begins at Arlington Cemetery (sic) or am I seeing things?” Joshua Potash from Queens asked on Twitter.

“I think it’s the bone spurs,” joked tweeter Kimberley Cooke, referring to one of the five draft deferments that got the president out of serving in the military during the Vietnam War. Trump started Memorial Day by rage-tweeting that the press was out of line for covering his decision to golf when nationwide deaths tied to the COVID-19 pandemic neared the 100,000 mark.

The fact that Trump recently said he’d been taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine also arose in the Twitter sphere, though the president reportedly said Sunday he was no longer using that medication. The president’s poor posture was the focus of a “Daily Show” segment in November that featured several images of Trump in strange stances.

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Jump ahead to these sections: While most military families understand veteran death benefits, they may not know whether their loved one is allowed to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. There have been almost 400,000 people’s remains buried at Arlington since the cemetery was founded during the Civil War.

Create a free Cake end-of-life planning profile and instantly share your health, legal, funeral, and legacy decisions with a loved one. Although there are 139 national cemeteries, Arlington is considered to be the most esteemed resting place for veterans.

The criteria to receive burial at Arlington are extremely stringent compared with the requirements for being buried at other national cemeteries. The Arlington website says that the decision on whether the requirements are met will be determined “at the time of need,” so prior approval cannot be given.

Here are some requirements, or part of the Code of Regulations, that you or your loved one must meet to be buried at Arlington. For the most part, to be buried in Arlington, you or your loved one must be a current service member or one who received an honorable discharge.

This means that you or your loved one served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines for a period of 20 years. It is given to military members who risked their lives beyond an ordinary act of bravery against an enemy of the U.S.

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Contact representatives at the national cemetery if you have extenuating circumstances that are not listed on the Arlington website. Those who wish to bury minor or dependent children must fill out at least two additional forms before the burial can be approved.

William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy are the only presidents presently buried in the prestigious location. Family members who are placed next to their loved one's may be required to pay for the additional inscription on the grave marker.

Also, family members can pay extra for a casket to be placed into a vault as opposed to a government-provided grave liner. The preparation of the body for burial, the casket or urn, and transportation of the remains to Arlington must be paid for by the estate.

If an active service member dies while in action, they may be buried in Arlington within two weeks of the death. If the deceased is cremated, the current wait times are as long as nine to eleven months.

Family members are guests are asked to arrive at Arlington 45 minutes before the scheduled funeral. Ten or fifteen minutes before the service, the family is escorted to the graveside location.

Not only are the family members required to gather the appropriate documents, but the estate also has to pay for the transportation of the body to Virginia. Families may consider burying their deceased loved ones in one of the 139 national cemeteries dotting the country.

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