Thank you, Chairman Wittman, for calling this hearing.
It is a shame, however, that conditions at Arlington were so bad that we must have this hearing. Problems that never should have occurred have been discovered, and have taken years to correct. There are continuing concerns. We simply must get answers to these questions.
There is probably no more honored, no more sacred, place in America than Arlington Cemetery. That's where so many of America's greatest heroes are buried. Arlington, with its row upon row of gravestones, is the magnificent reminder that our precious freedom is not free. It takes the blood and sacrifice of patriots to keep America great. That's why Arlington is so important to the nation, and why it must be run in an absolutely first-rate fashion.
I hope and pray that, with continued improvements at Arlington, that we will finally be able to lay these troubling issues to rest.