The state-run Department of Veterans Affairs agency in Rhode Island apologized Monday for burying veterans in the wrong graves.
In total, seven veterans were buried incorrectly because of grave markers that were in the wrong place.
“We recognize our cemetery is hallowed ground, and we did not meet our obligation to our veterans, their loved ones who are buried here or the families and the veterans who continue to come to our cemetery to pay their respects,” said Kasim Yarn, director of Veterans Affairs in Rhode Island.
Yarn added that a crew discovered the mistake last Thursday when they tried to dig a grave for the wife of a veteran. When they dug further, they realized that the plot only had space for one person, prompting them to check records to make sure.
The dead have since been moved over the weekend to their appropriate places.
No one is being disciplined for the incident, but Yarn wants to institute new verification practices to make sure this doesn’t happen again. When a new vault is buried, a second employee at the cemetery will have to verify the vault is in the right place.
There are 34,000 people buried at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery.