“Where is my loved one going to be kept during the months between our funeral and the interment in Arlington National Cemetery?”
This is a very good question that every family should have answered. The embalming preparation of human remains is designed to preserve and sanitize the body so that a family or public viewing and funeral may occur. Most funerals and burials occur within a week of death. This is not the case with Arlington National Cemetery interments. Because of the number of eligible veterans that wish to be buried in Arlington, there is a delay of up to several months. This places a burden on funeral home facilities and creates a situation that they were not designed for. Even an embalmed body needs to be kept in a secure, refrigerated morgue for the lengths of time necessitated by Arlington’s backlog. There needs to be strict security and identification protocols in place to guarantee the chain of custody and dignity of the veteran or spouse.