Neglect at Arlington Cemetery

Every day, loved ones of troops who've been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan leave personal mementos and artifacts—from photographs and letters to flags and birthday presents—on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Yet instead of collecting and preserving these items, as staff has done for decades at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, both out of respect for the dead and cultural preservation, most are left to elements. They rot or droop and are eventually trashed, Salon reports. "They really should archive those treasures—and that really is what they are to the families that leave them," said a mother whose son was killed in Iraq, when told about the poor treatment. The report is part of a series of articles on grave offenses at the cemetery.