Stivers Joins Arlington National Cemetery for the Dedication of the Tomb of Remembrance
This week, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Arlington National Cemetery for the official dedication of the Tomb of Remembrance. The Tomb of Remembrance is a final resting place where the cremated remains of service members that may be comingled, unidentified, or unclaimed are protected with respect.
In 2011, the Washington Post reported that the Dover Air Force Base mortuary had sent fragments of remains from 274 military personnel to the Prince George Landfill. This report prompted Stivers to introduce legislation to establish the Tomb of Remembrance, which Arlington National Cemetery ultimately moved forward on after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives on September 19, 2012.
“When I first read the report in 2011, I was absolutely horrified. All fragments of fallen service members – even the smallest – deserve a dignified burial site,” Stivers said. “The Tomb of Remembrance will ensure this injustice will never happen again. I am proud to have worked with Arlington National Cemetery on this project to honor the service and sacrifice of fallen soldiers.”
Located near the intersection of Patton Drive and York Drive in Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of Remembrance is made entirely of granite and features a cairn with a bench and Memorial Wall circling it. The inscription on the Tomb reads: Here We Remember Those Who, “Have Laid, So Costly a Sacrifice upon the Altar of Freedom.” Abraham Lincoln.
Specifically, the Tomb of Remembrance is for portions of cremated unidentifiable or unclaimed remains of deceased active duty members of the Armed Forces as an alternative to retirement at sea. Additionally, the Tomb may be used for comingled, unidentifiable, or unclaimed cremated remains received from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner (AFMAO). The Tomb may also be used for comingled unidentified cremated remains from an incident where every person involved has previously individually identified remains, provided they are received from AFMAO.
When the Cemetery receives remains for the Tomb, the placement receives a simple, dignified committal service attended by a cemetery representative, military chaplain, and cemetery caretaker. Visitors can pay respects at the Tomb any time the cemetery is open.
A career soldier, Stivers has served over 30 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Brigadier General. He served the United States overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely to the United States. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.
For more information about the Tomb of Remembrance, click here.
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