Moran Chairs Field Hearing on Arlington National Cemetery, Future Plans to Honor the Fallen
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, today chaired a field hearing in Virginia to review current and future operations of the Arlington National Cemetery.
The hearing, titled “Arlington National Cemetery: Current Operations and Future Plans to Honor the Fallen,” was Moran’s first as chairman of the MilCon-VA Appropriations Subcommittee.
“While the past is important, we also want to consider the future of the cemetery. As chairman, I welcome the great responsibility of helping preserve and protect Arlington, and ensuring – for as long as possible – this ground is open and active for the burial and inurnment of those who have served us all – our American heroes,” Moran said.
The following is Moran’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery:
Good afternoon. What an honor it is to be here at Arlington National Cemetery to hold my first appropriations hearing as chairman of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Thank you to Ms. Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director of Army National Military Cemeteries, and Ms. Katherine Kelley, Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, for hosting us today.
Arlington is one of our most important American treasures. This is a wonderful place to come and learn about our American history, traditions, and customs. We can never forget, however, that this is also an active cemetery; that has been its primary purpose for more than 150 years. This is a place for families and friends, for mourning and grieving and remembrance. It is sacred space.
The cemetery has come a long way over the last several years. You have spent tremendous time and energy upgrading and repairing infrastructure and IT systems; reorganizing and restructuring maintenance; improving security and pedestrian flow around the campus. You have made this place more accessible and welcoming to all who visit. You and your teams have accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. I thank you for your hard work.
While the past is important, we also want to consider the future of the cemetery. As chairman, I welcome the great responsibility of helping preserve and protect Arlington, and ensuring – for as long as possible – this ground is open and active for the burial and inurnment of those who have served us all – our American heroes.
I know there are issues: land issues, budget issues, space issues to work through. I look forward to discussing those today, and I look forward to working with you closely to ensure the perpetual success of this hallowed ground.
I’d like to share with you a hymn about our brave men and women, such as those honored here at the cemetery, entitled, “Mansions of the Lord.” I first heard this hymn powerfully performed by the U.S. Armed Forces Chorus when I attended President Reagan’s memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, eternal light
In the mansions of the Lord
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
Through the ages safely keep
The mansions of the Lord
In honoring Arlington – this mansion of the Lord – we honor our service men and women who made great sacrifices for our country. Our work today will ensure these heroes and their families continue to receive the support and respect they well deserve.
Next Article Previous Article