5.0 HEADSTONES AND MARKERS
All graves in Army national cemeteries will be appropriately marked in accordance with 24 USC 79. Government head-stones and markers are provided by the Veterans Administration in accordance with the provisions of the National Cemeteries Act of 1973. When requested by the next of kin, an appropriate memorial headstone or marker will be furnished and placed in the appropriate memorial section of the cemetery. Headstones will be of white marble, upright slab design.
b. Applications. Headstones and markers furnished by the Government for graves in Arlington and Soldiers' Home National Cemeteries, as well as Army post cemeteries, will be ordered from the Veterans Administration on DA Form 2122 (Record of Interment). Applications from next of kin are not required. However, VA Forms 20-1330 (Applications for Headstone or Marker) are required for memorial markers and must be submitted to the Veterans Administration.
c. Inscriptions. Inscriptions on Government headstones will be in accordance with policies and specifications of the Administrator of Veterans Affairs. The section designation and grave number will be incised on the reverse side, near the top of the upright headstone. The Director, Personal Affairs, has responsibility for policies and specifications for private monuments in Arlington and Soldiers' Home National Cemeteries. Instructions concerning the section designation and grave number oil private monuments are in TM 10-287.
5.1.D Replacement Policy.
d. Replacement Policy.
(1) Headstones and markers will be replaced only if they are damaged, weathered, or otherwise unsightly; if then constitute a safety hazard; or if the inscriptions are illegible.
(2) All Government replacement headstones and the inscriptions on them will be identical with the original headstone as far as is practicable and desirable.
(3) If the Director, Personal Affairs, determines that a private monument is not maintained in a safe and serviceable condition, the next of kin will be given an opportunity to have necessary repairs made or to replace the monument. If the next of kin cannot be located or will not accept responsibility for repairing or replacing the monument, the Department of the Army reserves the right to remove it from the cemetery and have it r Placed with a standard Government headstone or marker.
5.2 Furnished by the Government.
5.2.A Multiple interments.
a. Multiple interments. When an additional interment is made in a grave, the stone will be replaced with a multiple-inscribed stone of the same type. Upright replacement stones will be inscribed on the face with the names of all decedents, together with other pertinent inscription data, if space permits. When space is insufficient to accommodate the inscriptions of all decedents, Inscriptions for the service-connected decedent and his spouse will be placed on the face of the stone, if possible; and inscriptions for the additional interments will be cut on the reverse side.
5.2.B Group burials.
b. Group burials.
The design of headstones or markers erected for group interments will be prepared by the Personal Affairs Directorate.
5.2.C Memorial markers.
c. Memorial markers.
Memorial markers erected in cemetery sections established for this purpose will be of the standard design authorization for the cemetery. In addition to the authorized inscriptions, the words “In Memory of” are mandatory.
5.3 Monuments and inscriptions at private expense.
a. The erection of markers and monuments at private expense to mark graves in lieu of Government headstones and markers requires prior approval of the Director, Personal Affairs, and is permitted only in sections of Arlington National Cemetery in which private monuments and markers were authorized as of 1 January 1947. These monuments will be of simple design, dignified, and appropriate to a military cemetery. The name of the person(s) or the name of an organization, fraternity, or society responsible for the purchase and erection of the marker will not be permitted on the marker or anywhere else in the cemetery. Approval for the erection of a private monument will be given with the understanding that the purchaser will make provision for its future maintenance in the event repairs are necessary. The Department of the Army will not be liable for maintenance of or damage to the monument.
b. Where a monument has been erected to an individual interred in Arlington National Cemetery and the next of lain desires to have inscribed on it the name and appropriate data pertaining to a deceased spouse, parent, son, daughter, brother, or sister whose remains have not been recovered and who would have been eligible in their own right for burial in Arlington, such inscriptions may be incised on the monument at no expense to the Government, with the prior written approval of the Director, Personal Affairs. The words “In Memoriam” or “In Memory of” are mandatory elements of these inscriptions.
c. Except as may be authorized for marking group burials, ledger monuments of freestanding cross design, narrow shafts, mausoleums, or overground vaults are prohibited. Underground vaults may be placed at private expense, if desired, at the time of interment.
d. Specific instructions concerning private monuments and markers are in TM 10-287.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard