McVeigh Is Eligible for Arlington Burial: Deadly Bomber a Decorated War Vet

By Price, Joyce | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 18, 1997 | Go to article overview

McVeigh Is Eligible for Arlington Burial: Deadly Bomber a Decorated War Vet


Price, Joyce, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The remains of convicted mass murderer Timothy McVeigh, facing a federal death sentence for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, could be entombed in a monument at Arlington National Cemetery called the Columbarium, cemetery officials say.

John C. Metzler, superintendent of the Arlington cemetery, said yesterday that the remains of McVeigh, who served in the Army in the Persian Gulf war, could also be interred in any other military cemetery that has available space.

"There is no provision to bar convicted felons [who are veterans] from burial in military cemeteries," Mr. Metzler said yesterday. "If a veteran has an honorable discharge, he or she is eligible for burial in a military cemetery" that has available space.

He added that there's a "gray area" in the law that can bar burials of veterans convicted of "subversive acts against the government." But he noted that McVeigh was not found guilty of any of the offenses specifically identified in the law.

McVeigh, 29, a decorated Army veteran in the Persian Gulf war, was sentenced to death earlier this month for bombing the Oklahoma City federal building, an attack that claimed 168 lives.

Veterans groups are not happy about the prospect of McVeigh qualifying for burial in a national military cemetery and are urging Congress to change the law.

"The Jewish War Veterans of America is opposed to any traitors or criminals convicted of terrorism or [other] crimes against the the United States being buried in a government-run cemetery such as Arlington or a VA cemetery," Robert Zweiman, national commander of that 100,000-member organization, said yesterday.

"There is concern about this," said Bill Smith, spokesman for the nearly 2. …

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