Marble for Unknowns tomb just sits – The Denver Post
This is where the government procurement policies and procedures have gone wrong.
The marble of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is failing and needs to be replaced. A retired car dealer, John Haines, has donated a piece of marble from the same quarry and has even lined up donated transportation to get it to Arlington National Cemetery for free.
But Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Army are balking at the free donation. Instead they have estimated it to cost $2.2 million, including $80,000 to just accept bids on the project.
In the article, this is what Thurman Higginbotham, Deputy Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery had say about the donated marble.
“It’s not doable. A citizen can’t just give us any piece of marble and say, ‘This is what we’ll use to replace the tomb,’ ”
As a taxpayer and a citizen I think the Army and Arlington National Cemetery need to investigate whether the marble will work for the tomb or not. Not just dismiss it outright.
If it works, great. You have a free piece of marble that will save you the $90,000 you think it will cost to purchase and transport. If it doesn’t, that is fine, but at least look at it.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a special place and means a lot to people. They were doing this out of respect and have found a special piece of marble to serve as the replacement. Arlington National Cemetery should recognize that.