< Back to H.R. 4940 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Arlington National Cemetery Burial Eligibility Act

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on July 22, 2002 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 23, 2002 (Referred to Senate Committee).

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HR 4940 RFS

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4940

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 23, 2002

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affais


AN ACT

To amend title 38, United States Code, to enact into law eligibility requirements for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Arlington National Cemetery Burial Eligibility Act’.

SEC. 2. PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR BURIAL IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 2412. Arlington National Cemetery: persons eligible for burial

    ‘(a) PRIMARY ELIGIBILITY- The remains of the following individuals may be buried in Arlington National Cemetery:

      ‘(1) Any member of the Armed Forces who dies while on active duty.

      ‘(2)(A) Any retired member of the Armed Forces.

      ‘(B) Any member or former member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces--

        ‘(i) who served on active duty;

        ‘(ii) who was honorably discharged from such active duty service;

        ‘(iii) who, at the time of death, was under 60 years of age; and

        ‘(iv) who, but for age, would have been eligible at the time of death for retired pay under chapter 1223 of title 10.

      ‘(3) Any former member of the Armed Forces separated for physical disability before October 1, 1949, who--

        ‘(A) served on active duty; and

        ‘(B) would have been eligible for retirement under the provisions of section 1201 of title 10 (relating to retirement for disability) had that section been in effect on the date of separation of the member.

      ‘(4) Any former member of the Armed Forces whose last active duty military service terminated honorably and who has been awarded one of the following decorations:

        ‘(A) Medal of Honor.

        ‘(B) Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross, or Navy Cross.

        ‘(C) Distinguished Service Medal.

        ‘(D) Silver Star.

        ‘(E) Purple Heart.

      ‘(5) Any former prisoner of war who dies on or after November 30, 1993.

      ‘(6) Any member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces who dies in the performance of duty while on active duty for training or inactive duty training.

      ‘(7) The President or any former President.

    ‘(b) ELIGIBILITY OF FAMILY MEMBERS- The remains of the following individuals may be buried in Arlington National Cemetery:

      ‘(1) The spouse, surviving spouse (which for purposes of this paragraph includes any remarried surviving spouse, section 2402(5) of this title notwithstanding), minor child, and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, unmarried adult child of a person listed in subsection (a), but only if buried in the same gravesite as that person.

      ‘(2)(A) The spouse, minor child, and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, unmarried adult child of a member of the Armed Forces on active duty if such spouse, minor child, or unmarried adult child dies while such member is on active duty.

      ‘(B) The individual whose spouse, minor child, and unmarried adult child is eligible under subparagraph (A), but only if buried in the same gravesite as the spouse, minor child, or unmarried adult child.

      ‘(3) The parents of a minor child or unmarried adult child whose remains, based on the eligibility of a parent, are already buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but only if buried in the same gravesite as that minor child or unmarried adult child.

      ‘(4)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the surviving spouse, minor child, and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, unmarried adult child of a member of the Armed Forces who was lost, buried at sea, or officially determined to be permanently absent in a status of missing or missing in action.

      ‘(B) A person is not eligible under subparagraph (A) if a memorial to honor the memory of the member is placed in a cemetery in the national cemetery system, unless the memorial is removed. A memorial removed under this subparagraph may be placed, at the discretion of the Superintendent, in Arlington National Cemetery.

      ‘(5) The surviving spouse, minor child, and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, unmarried adult child of a member of the Armed Forces buried in a cemetery under the jurisdiction of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

    ‘(c) DISABLED ADULT UNMARRIED CHILDREN- In the case of an unmarried adult child who is incapable of self-support up to the time of death because of a physical or mental condition, the child may be buried under subsection (b) without requirement for approval by the Superintendent under that subsection if the burial is in the same gravesite as the gravesite in which the parent, who is eligible for burial under subsection (a), has been or will be buried.

    ‘(d) FAMILY MEMBERS OF PERSONS BURIED IN A GROUP GRAVESITE- In the case of a person eligible for burial under subsection (a) who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery as part of a group burial, the surviving spouse, minor child, or unmarried adult child of the member may not be buried in the group gravesite.

    ‘(e) EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY FOR BURIAL IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY- (1) Eligibility for burial of remains in Arlington National Cemetery prescribed under this section is the exclusive eligibility for such burial.

    ‘(2)(A) In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for burial under subsection (a) whose acts, service, or contributions to the Armed Forces are so extraordinary as to justify burial in Arlington National Cemetery, the President may deem such individual eligible for burial under subsection (a).

    ‘(B) If the President deems an individual eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery under subparagraph (A), the Secretary of the Army shall immediately notify the chairmen and the ranking members of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives.

    ‘(C)(i) Except as provided in clause (ii), the authority under subparagraph (A) may not be delegated.

    ‘(ii) The President may only delegate the authority under subparagraph (A) to the Secretary of the Army.

    ‘(f) APPLICATION FOR BURIAL- (1) A request for burial of remains of an individual in Arlington National Cemetery shall be made to the Secretary of the Army or to any other Federal official that the Secretary of the Army may specify.

    ‘(2) The Secretary, or other Federal official, may not consider a request referred to in paragraph (1) that is made before the death of the individual for whom burial in Arlington National Cemetery is requested.

    ‘(3) The President, or the Secretary, as the case may be, may not consider a request to deem an individual eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery under subsection (e)(2) that is made before the death of the individual for whom burial in Arlington National Cemetery is requested.

    ‘(g) REGISTER OF BURIED INDIVIDUALS- (1) The Secretary of the Army shall maintain a register of each individual buried in Arlington National Cemetery and shall make such register available to the public.

    ‘(2) With respect to each such individual buried on or after January 1, 2002, the register shall include a brief description of the basis of eligibility of the individual for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

    ‘(h) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section:

      ‘(1) The term ‘retired member of the Armed Forces’ means--

        ‘(A) any member of the Armed Forces on a retired list who served on active duty and who is entitled to retired pay;

        ‘(B) any member of the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve who served on active duty and who is entitled to retainer pay; and

        ‘(C) any member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces who has served on active duty and who has received notice from the Secretary concerned under section 12731(d) of title 10, of eligibility for retired pay under chapter 1223 of title 10, United States Code.

      ‘(2) The term ‘former member of the Armed Forces’ includes a person whose service is considered active duty service pursuant to a determination of the Secretary of Defense under section 401 of Public Law 95-202 (38 U.S.C. 106 note).

      ‘(3) The term ‘Superintendent’ means the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery.’.

    (b) PUBLICATION OF UPDATED PAMPHLET- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Army shall publish an updated pamphlet describing eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The pamphlet shall reflect the provisions of section 2412 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

    (c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘2412. Arlington National Cemetery: persons eligible for burial.’.

    (d) TECHNICAL AMENDMENT- Section 2402(5) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘, except section 2412(b)(1) of this title,’ after ‘which for purposes of this chapter’.

    (e) CONFORMING REPEAL- Section 1176 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (Public Law 103-160; 38 U.S.C. 2402 note) is repealed.

    (f) EFFECTIVE DATE- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), section 2412 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to individuals dying on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (2) In the case of an individual buried in Arlington National Cemetery before the date of the enactment of this Act, the surviving spouse of such individual is deemed to be eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery under subsection (b) of such section, but only in the same gravesite as such individual.

SEC. 3. PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR PLACEMENT IN THE COLUMBARIUM IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 2412, as added by section 2(a) of this Act, the following new section:

‘Sec. 2413. Arlington National Cemetery: persons eligible for placement in columbarium

    ‘The cremated remains of the following individuals may be placed in the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery:

      ‘(1) A person eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery under section 2412 of this title.

      ‘(2)(A) A veteran whose last period of active duty service (other than active duty for training) ended honorably.

      ‘(B) The spouse, surviving spouse, minor child, and, at the discretion of the Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, unmarried adult child of such a veteran.’.

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 2412, as added by section 2(c) of this Act, the following new item:

      ‘2413. Arlington National Cemetery: persons eligible for placement in columbarium.’.

    (c) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 11201(a)(1) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting after subparagraph (B), the following new subparagraph:

        ‘(C) Section 2413 (relating to placement in the columbarium in Arlington National Cemetery).’.

    (d) EFFECTIVE DATE- Section 2413 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), and section 11201(a)(1)(C), as added by subsection (c), shall apply with respect to individuals dying on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. MONUMENTS IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 2413, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, the following new section:

‘Sec. 2414. Arlington National Cemetery: authorized headstones, markers, and monuments

    ‘(a) GRAVESITE MARKERS PROVIDED BY THE SECRETARY- A gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery shall be appropriately marked in accordance with section 2404 of this title.

    ‘(b) GRAVESITE MARKERS PROVIDED AT PRIVATE EXPENSE- (1) The Secretary of the Army shall prescribe regulations for the provision of headstones or markers to mark a gravesite at private expense in lieu of headstones and markers provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in Arlington National Cemetery.

    ‘(2) Such regulations shall ensure that--

      ‘(A) such headstones or markers are of simple design, dignified, and appropriate to a military cemetery;

      ‘(B) the person providing such headstone or marker provides for the future maintenance of the headstone or marker in the event repairs are necessary;

      ‘(C) the Secretary of the Army shall not be liable for maintenance of or damage to the headstone or marker;

      ‘(D) such headstones or markers are aesthetically compatible with Arlington National Cemetery; and

      ‘(E) such headstones or markers are permitted only in sections of Arlington National Cemetery authorized for such headstones or markers as of January 1, 1947.

    ‘(c) MONUMENTS- (1) No monument (or similar structure as determined by the Secretary of the Army in regulations) may be placed in Arlington National Cemetery except pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.

    ‘(2) A monument may be placed in Arlington National Cemetery if the monument commemorates--

      ‘(A) the service in the Armed Forces of the individual, or group of individuals, whose memory is to be honored by the monument; or

      ‘(B) a particular military event.

    ‘(3) No monument may be placed in Arlington National Cemetery until the end of the 25-year period beginning--

      ‘(A) in the case of commemoration of service under paragraph (1)(A), on the last day of the period of service so commemorated; and

      ‘(B) in the case of commemoration of a particular military event under paragraph (1)(B), on the last day of the period of the event.

    ‘(4) A monument may be placed only in those sections of Arlington National Cemetery designated by the Secretary of the Army for such placement.’.

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 24 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 2413, as added by section 3(b) of this Act, the following new item:

      ‘2414. Arlington National Cemetery: authorized headstones, markers, and monuments.’.

    (c) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to headstones, markers, or monuments placed in Arlington National Cemetery on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. PUBLICATION OF REGULATIONS.

    Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Army shall publish in the Federal Register any regulation proposed by the Secretary to carry out sections 2 through 4.

SEC. 6. APPLICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS BENEFIT FOR GOVERNMENT MARKERS FOR MARKED GRAVES OF VETERANS AT PRIVATE CEMETERIES TO VETERANS DYING ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subsection (d) of section 502 of the Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-103; 115 Stat. 994; 38 U.S.C. 2306 note) is amended by striking ‘the date of the enactment of this Act’ and inserting ‘September 11, 2001’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect as if included in the enactment of such section 502.

Passed the House of Representatives July 22, 2002.

Attest:

JEFF TRANDAHL,

Clerk.