Lautenberg to be planted at Arlington

| June 6, 2013

Someone wrote to us yesterday to tell us that it had been decided that the late Frank Lautenberg will be buried at Arlington after laying in State at the Capitol. From the Daily Journal;

Frank Lautenberg, the last World War II veteran to serve in the Senate, will be buried Friday morning at Arlington National Cemetery.


After the service [in New York City] , Lautenberg’s casket will be taken by color guard to the train station in Secaucus that bears his name. The casket then will travel via Amtrak to Washington, and Lautenberg will lie in repose Thursday inside the U.S. Senate chamber.

Lautenberg’s casket will lie atop the Lincoln catafalque, constructed in 1865 to support the casket of Abraham Lincoln when his body lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

That’s all well and good, he was a veteran, after all and probably earned a spot in the national cemetery. But the person who wrote us yesterday said that he’d lost his wife recently and the folks at Arlington told him that it would be a four or five month wait for her interment at Arlington. He said a friend had also deceased and his family was told the same. But, because he’s a Senator, Lautenberg jumps to the head of the line? His military service was no different than anyone else’s, so I don’t understand Arlington’s reasoning behind it. I mean, for those people who have to wait months to bury their loved ones, does Arlington have to find more dirt or something? If they can bury a Senator in a week, why can’t they bury the rest in a timely manner? It seems to me that they’re trying to discourage us regular Joes from choosing Arlington as our eternal rest.

Category: Arlington National Cemetary

Comments (17)

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  1. Old Trooper says:

    Remember, Jonn, some are more equal than others.

  2. rb325th says:

    RHIP… Rank has Its Privilege. Doesn’t make it right, but him being a US Senator surely did get him to the front of the line.

  3. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I guess my point was not that Lautenberg shouldn’t be buried a week after his death, but rather that Arlington should be jumping through their collective ass to bury all of us in a week. If they can assemble the dogs and ponies for a Senator in such a tight time frame, it seems to me that they could plant those of us who don’t need the hoopla sooner.

  4. GunzRunner says:

    The double standards abound.

  5. SJ says:

    Thanks for posting this Jonn.

  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Even death cannot deny the annointed ones from receiving special treatment. Take comfort in knowing that in a very short while, Lautenberg’s ‘last one’ status will be recalled along with the names of the last surviving Senators from all of our other wars. (No, I can’t name them either.)

  7. SJ says:

    Re #3: For us peasants, honors etc do not seem to matter in scheduling. My bride of 30 years is a mere “dependent” and gets nothing but a Chaplain. My bud was a Ret LTC and gets full honors. He is the queue behind my bride because she passed a month earlier.

    The only priority is, and as it should be, Active Duty first. And, now, politicians it seems.

    BTW, the staff was very efficient when I called. They took all the info and said that I would be scheduled in plenty of time to get family in. I get a weekly email saying they haven’t forgotten me. Initial call on 8 April and haven’t been scheduled yet.

  8. Sparks says:

    Thank you Jonn. Arlington is hallowed ground and the same standards should apply to all who are eligibly to be interred there. I understand in the case of a President, but all others should be equal treatment for military service to our nation.

  9. Loach says:

    I’m sure flag officers don’t wait either.

  10. UpNorth says:

    “The casket then will travel via Amtrak to Washington”. I wonder, special train or regularly scheduled service?
    A U.S. Senator jumped to the head of the line over other vets? Not surprising at all.

  11. martinjmpr says:

    @9: Beat me to it. Yes, there’s no doubt a GO would go to the front of the line, as would a MOH recipient. Maybe it’s not “right” but having worked in a couple of G-staffs and seen the kind of institutionalized butt-kissing and privilege that is routinely afforded to flag officers, I’m not the least bit surprised. ‘Twas ever thus.

  12. David says:

    All are equal, but some are more equal than others. The Arlington admionistration has been castigated in Congress for screw-ups for the last few years…. I’m sure they jumped at the chance to put a liplock on a politician’s love muscle, dead or not.

  13. SJ says:

    #11: I’d zero problem with a MOH, or even DSC, going to the head of the line.

  14. rb325th says:

    According to frequently asked questions that were at one time available on Arlingtons Web Page, the wait time was a week for an in ground internment. That question and answer has been removed from their site, but I found it elsewhere where the entire list of Q7A had been cut and pasted.
    Obviously they do not want to tell people up front that they have a failure of manegment there, that is causing months long delays now.
    The system is breaking down….

  15. OWB says:

    Hmmm. While I do definitely agree that there would seem to be no excuse for some being more equal than others (excepting MOH recipients), I really would like to see some facts and figures before getting on my high horse about the delays.

    Any possibility, for instance, that the burial rates have increased substantially in recent years? I do not know, but would suspect that between the increase in KIA’s and the baby boomers now well into our sixties, there would be more demand for services at Arlington than ever before, and that this increase is not permanent.

    As for a sitting US Senator going to the head of the line? At least it doesn’t happen very often.

  16. MAJMike says:

    Sucks being us. I’m satisfied that I and Household Six will have a spot for our ashes in the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

  17. FrostyCWO says:

    Arlington runs over 27 funerals a day, all services, and is booked out six weeks or so because that’s they rate that our predecessors are fading away.
    The Senator died while serving his country. Yes; I said serving. A sitting member of Congress, especially one with as much service as the Distinguished Gentleman from New Jersey, gets the same treatment as an active duty GO/FO when it comes to priority for burial at Arlington. While I grant that many members of Congress may not serve to our satisfaction, few, if any, get into politics in order to just suck off the government teat. They believe that their Country needs them and they fight for what they believe. Sound familiar?