Sadly, it appears our nation’s veterans can’t catch a break even after they’re dead.
As reported by a number of outlets, including the Military Times, it turns out that seven people were buried in the wrong graves at a veterans cemetery in Rhode Island.
According to the Times, the mix-up at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery can be traced to a series of errors that began back in November 2010, when grave workers left two markers - instead of one - when they began the process of transferring the remains of a veteran’s father at that time. From there, the additional space was never properly accounted for when grave markers were added in the spring of 2011.
The result was 21 misplaced grave markers. There have been seven burials in the affected row since 2010, and each was buried in the plot next to where they should have been interred.
The mistake was discovered by cemetery personnel last week as they prepared for another burial in that same row. Upon discovery of the unfortunate error, the remains and grave markers were moved to their appropriate places.
Kasim Yarn, the Rhode Island Director of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement:
“We recognize our cemetery is hallowed ground, and we did not meet our obligation to our veterans, their loved ones who are buried here or the families and the veterans who continue to come to our cemetery to pay their respects.”
It should be noted that the state of Rhode Island, not the long-beleaguered Veterans Administration, has oversight of the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large