Arlington Cemetery can be an overwhelming place, whether you’re there as tourists to visit one of the many famous graves, or you’re there to visit a family member. With nearly 400,000 people buried there, famous and not famous alike, it’s easy to get lost.
On Monday, Arlington released an electronic database that will help people locate the grave that they are looking for. The database has taken more than two years to compile with people verifying records to make sure there has been no misidentified graves.
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Called ANC Explorer, the app offers not only the location of a gravesite, but also the front and back photos of a headstone or monument. Once the grave that visitors are searching for has been located in the database, the app will provide them with directions to the gravesite.
For those who are planning a trip to Arlington, this new database can be accessed via www.arlingtoncemetary.mil. For those who are visiting Arlington, the database can be accessed by downloading an app at the visitor’s center. The app is free to all and is available via Google (News - Alert) Play and the iTunes Store for Android and Apple users.
The executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, Kathryn Condon, said Monday, “This is a great day for veterans and our families.” She went on to call the new app a “milestone” and noted that “There isn’t a national cemetery that is as technologically advance as Arlington- both in day-to-day operations and how it connects to its families and visitors.”
It is a much-needed database and app for the families of veterans, for whom it can be an arduous task to pay respects at the graveside of a loved one. Although they have not yet divulged what future developments visitors to Arlington can hope for, Major Nicholas R. Miller, the chief information officer for Arlington, told The Washington Post, “This is just the beginning.”