Can you help me identify what this is? (pic included)
December 2, 2009 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I've been wondering about this for quite some time...

I was going through some of my dad's old things, and in a folder with a bunch of stuff about his father, I found this.

I searched the # on the Arlington Cemetery grave search, but came up with nothing.

I have several ancestors that have served, but none that were buried at Arlington (that I know of at least).

I was thinking maybe its something from a funeral that my grandfather or father had gone to, but both have told me in the past that they have no idea what this thing is or is from.

I've been wondering about this for a while now, so here goes nothing. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for your help.
posted by CaptKyle to Society & Culture (11 answers total)
Could it be a car pass (that you'd place on the dashboard of the car)?
Says here: "Private automobiles are not permitted in the cemetery except by special permission. An automobile pass may be requested at the Visitor Center if you are visiting the gravesite of a relative."
Maybe your grandpa gave someone a ride to visit a relative's grave and kept the car pass.
posted by mattbucher at 3:09 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is it paper card? It looks like a parking/visitor's day pass.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:10 PM on December 2, 2009

Response by poster: It's cardboard.

The car-pass idea seems most likely. The only thing would be wouldn't it say something about it being a pass on it somewhere? And what's the need for the #?
posted by CaptKyle at 3:13 PM on December 2, 2009

Parking pass was my first guess also, before reading mattbucher's answer.
posted by rokusan at 3:16 PM on December 2, 2009

Here's a picture of a present-day Arlington National Cemetery pass on Flickr.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:18 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Looks like we have a winner guys; thanks for your help!

While we're here...any idea how I could utilize the # on it to find something about when it was for/for whose funeral?

I'm going a little overboard there, but I like to investigate things like this.
posted by CaptKyle at 3:21 PM on December 2, 2009

The number would be so that the powers that be can keep track. The permit was probably placed on the dashboard so that the guards and groundskeepers could see it.

For example:
A guard sees a private car, radios the number to base, base says it's a black Lincoln Town Car, guard says no it's a white VW Rabbit, Red alert and mayhem ensues.

From my experiences with Military life, they like to keep track of everything. It doesn't surprise me at all that a parking permit has a number on it. Just another layer of red tape.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:23 PM on December 2, 2009

From the description in LobsterMitten's link, the pass is permanent (or is meant to be used more than once). That would explain the number.
posted by zsazsa at 3:41 PM on December 2, 2009

From my cursory googling just now, it seems like there are two categories of pass - temporary (one-day) and permanent. I'm not sure which this is likely to be.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:43 PM on December 2, 2009

My uncle is buried there. My grandmom had passes just like that when I was a kid, in about 1979-1984-ish.
posted by procrastination at 5:39 PM on December 2, 2009

I have something very similar as my father is buried at Arlington. This is a permanent pass issued to families of those buried at Arlington to allow you to drive to the gravesite. No other cars are allowed into the cemetary. I think the number just lets them keep track of who they have issued them to. They might be able to tell you why your father had one which would lead you to a relative buried there.
posted by rvrlvr at 11:38 AM on December 3, 2009

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