Arlington National Cemetery plans controversial expansion to avoid running out of room

Looking to avoid running out of burial sites at the most iconic burial ground in the U.S., Arlington National Cemetery leaders are hoping to start a controversial 27-acre expansion this fall.

The planned expansion, called the Millennium Project, would add more than 27,000 burial sites for veterans on the northern side of the grounds, the Washington Post reports.

“This is important,” said Kathryn Condon, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, “because if we do nothing today, we will run out of in-ground burial space in 2025.”

But critics say the Millennium Project expansion doesn’t fit the Arlington National Cemetery historic site, and it would damage a stream and force hundreds of Civil War-era trees to be bulldozed.

“I love Arlington. But it’s not big enough for all future wars,” Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Washington Post. “It seems like we need to be preparing for Arlington Two, making sure it’s just as nice and wonderful and historical as Arlington One.”

The cemetery will dedicate a columbarium court, which can hold more than 20,000 cremated remains, on Thursday.

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