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Welcome to my Blog! Thanks for stopping by. I'll be posting from time to time my adventures in writing and my trials and tribulations in the publishing world, along with anything relevant in regards to current events, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Intelligence community that appears in the press. Please note that anything I post is not reflective or representative of any official position of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Air Force; only my views and opinions as a private citizen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bureaucracy vs. A Patriotic Act

A story in the Denver Post on the 18th of August was brought to my attention by the news team at WBAL, an AM Radio news and talk station in Baltimore yesterday. Entitled, "Marble for Unknowns Tomb Just Sits", it provides another example of the initially well intended regulations of government inhibiting common sense.

A retired car dealer named John Haines has, with his own money, purchased a large enough slab of marble that can be formed into a new monument that will replace the cracked and aging Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument at Arlington National Cemetery. The marble block was hewn from the earth by veterans, at the exact same quarry the current marble monument was cut from. Mr. Haines has also arraigned for the marble block to be transported, FREE OF CHARGE, to the east coast for sculpting and eventual dedication.

There is just one problem, Mr. Haines' donation of this block to the cemetery cannot go forward because an "ordinary citizen", in the words of the deputy superintendent at Arlingon, Mr. Thurman Higginbotham, "....can't just give us any piece of marble and say, 'This is what we'll use to replace the tomb."

I sincerely hope that Mr. Higginbotham and the rest of the Arlington Cemetery management is suffering from only a temporary state of beaucratic stupidity, and does not sincerely wish to deny Mr. Haines' the opportunity to complete his generous donation. Assuming the block is properly sized for the sculpting process and of the quality needed to serve as a fitting memorial, the Arlington authorities should petition Congress or the appropriate government body for the waiver needed to accept Mr. Haines' gift.

It would be a shameful event if the Arlington Cemetery management choses to spend $170,000 tax payer dollars to solict bids to sell the stone to the government and then transport it for sculpting. There is a marble block made much more worthy by the honorable intent and charity of our citizens standing ready in Colorado to honor and keep alive the memory of our Soldiers Known but to God.