Arlington national cemetery prepares for the future by expanding. Adding 50 acres to the property and opening around 60,000 more burial plots.
Arlington National cemetery is one of the most famous military cemeteries in the world. The land was originally owned by the grandson of the first United States President George Washington. It was passed down to his descendants, but was controversially turned into a cemetery during the civil war by the Union when they lost a large battle in 1864, and needed a burial ground for the servicemen. The Union decided to use the Arlington estate, which was located on high ground, safe from floods, had a beautiful view of the District of Columbia, and was the home of their fiercest opponent, Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate States Army.
To this day Arlington national cemetery continues to be a favorite location for USA military servicemen and women to be buried. Since its first burial, the Arlington cemetery has had to continue to expand to keep up with needs of the past and present military members. There are currently 400,000 interments at the cemetery, and they perform an estimated 6,900 funerals each year.
While some expansions in the past have been difficult to get approved, this year the vote was a unanimous agreement. The Arlington County, Virginia board approved two agreements with the federal government to move forward with the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. The expansion will add 50 acres to the property and provide 60,000 more burial plots, which the cemetery management says should sustain the cemetery until 2050.
The agreements will require several county streets to be moved and realigned, but will give the city a multi-use trail to go along Washington Boulevard next to the cemetery.
The cemetery is planning on starting construction in spring 2021 and to have the new addition finished by the summer of 2025.