Since 1864 nearly 260,000 of America’s finest have been interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Now, the Gravesite Accountability Task Force has been charged with verifying all cemetery records.

Responding to a congressional law passed last year, the task force is to verify and, if necessary, fix any discrepancies in cemetery records. The “Old Guard,” the Army unit responsible for manning the Tomb of the Unknowns 24×365, has responsibility for photographing every tombstone front and back. In addition to the photographs, all existing documents and records are being scanned. All digital information will be cross referenced and verified.

The task force has photographed approximately 43% of the gravesites since June, when it began taking pictures with iPhones utilizing a proprietary archiving application. The group is expected to complete photographing sites by the end of October.

This is a tremendous effort to help make sure every American hero is accounted for in our National cemetery. For the genealogist there is one more great piece of news. Once the project is completed all records will be made public on the cemetery’s website.

Sources:

Tracy A Woodward, Arlington National Cemetery officials seek to account for the dead, TheWashington Post.

Anna M. Schier, Arlington Cemetery Using Smartphones to Digitally Catalog Remains, Fort Bragg Patch.