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State Veterans Cemeteries

Definition

State Veterans Cemeteries are burial sites established, managed, and maintained by individual states for the interment of deceased eligible veterans and their eligible dependents. These cemeteries are separate from the National Cemetery Administration but may receive federal support through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each state sets its residency requirements and other criteria to determine eligibility for interment in their respective veterans cemeteries.

Key Takeaways

  1. State Veterans Cemeteries are burial grounds specifically dedicated to honor military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  2. These cemeteries are established, maintained, and funded by individual states, though they may receive federal grants for improvements or expansions.
  3. Eligibility for burial in a State Veterans Cemetery varies by state, but typically requires the veteran to meet minimum service requirements and have an honorable discharge.

Importance

The term “State Veterans Cemeteries” is important because it signifies the final resting places dedicated to honoring and commemorating the service and sacrifices made by the men and women who served in the United States military.

These cemeteries, operated and maintained by individual states, provide a dignified burial option for eligible veterans and their dependents, often at no cost.

They often serve as a local alternative to national veterans cemeteries, making it more convenient for families to visit and pay their respects to their loved ones.

Ensuring access to state veterans cemeteries upholds the nation’s commitment to its veterans by providing a lasting tribute to their courage, dedication, and service to the country.

Explanation

State Veterans Cemeteries serve as a significant and honorable purpose in providing a dignified and hallowed resting place for veterans who have served their country with distinction. These cemeteries are typically established, owned, operated, and maintained by individual states as a way for the local community and the nation to express their respect, gratitude, and commitment to the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting the freedom and values that embody the United States.

By having these dedicated spaces, families and loved ones can pay their tribute and remember the sacrifices made by these heroes, who have put country above self. One of the main reasons for the establishment of State Veterans Cemeteries is to ensure that burial options are available to veterans who may not have access to or are distant from federal veteran cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery.

With department of veterans affairs’ assistance, each state can create, expand, or improve veterans cemeteries to accommodate the burial needs of their local veterans and their eligible family members. This also eases the burden on grieving families during their time of loss.

Additionally, these cemeteries often have strict regulations and qualifications to ensure that only eligible veterans and their spouses or dependents are interred within its grounds, thereby maintaining the integrity and significance of the cemetery. State Veterans Cemeteries act as both a symbol of gratitude from the nation to veterans and a lasting reminder of their courageous service.

Examples of State Veterans Cemeteries

State Veterans Cemeteries are managed by individual states and provide a dignified final resting place for eligible veterans, their spouses, and dependents. These cemeteries offer burial services, maintenance, and perpetual care of the gravesites. Here are three real-world examples of State Veterans Cemeteries:

Florida National Cemetery: Located in Bushnell, Florida, this State Veterans Cemetery is managed by the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. It provides burial services in a dignified, respectful, and beautiful setting. The cemetery covers approximately 512 acres and offers a full range of services, including cremation interment, in-ground casket burial, and a memorial wall.

Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene: This State Veterans Cemetery is managed by the Texas Veterans Land Board and offers a peaceful resting place for the state’s veterans and their eligible family members. The cemetery is spread across 58 acres and provides interment services, a columbarium for cremated remains, and a memorial walkway for those whose remains are not in the cemetery.

Calverton National Cemetery: Located in Calverton, New York, this State Veterans Cemetery is managed by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services. Calverton National Cemetery spans over 1,045 acres and offers various interment options, including in-ground casket burial, a columbarium for cremated remains, and a memorial wall for those who choose not to have their remains interred at the cemetery.

FAQ – State Veterans Cemeteries

Who is eligible for burial in a State Veterans Cemetery?

Eligible individuals generally include veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependents who meet specific service requirements and state residency requirements. Each State Veterans Cemetery may have additional eligibility rules, so it is best to contact the specific cemetery for more information.

How do I apply for burial in a State Veterans Cemetery?

To apply for burial in a State Veterans Cemetery, you should contact the cemetery directly or visit their website for specific instructions. Generally, you will need to provide documentation verifying the veteran’s military service, such as a DD Form 214, and proof of state residency.

Is there a cost associated with burial in a State Veterans Cemetery?

While burial in a State Veterans Cemetery is typically provided at no cost for eligible veterans, there may be a fee for spouses and dependents. These fees can vary by state and cemetery, so it is important to contact the specific cemetery to confirm any costs associated with the burial.

How do I locate a State Veterans Cemetery?

You can locate a State Veterans Cemetery by visiting the National Cemetery Administration’s website or by contacting your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, many state veterans affairs websites provide a list of available State Veterans Cemeteries.

What type of headstone or marker can be placed at a State Veterans Cemetery?

State Veterans Cemeteries typically follow the same guidelines as national veterans cemeteries for headstones and markers. These cemeteries usually provide a government-furnished headstone or marker at no cost to the family, including flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, or upright marble headstones. For specifics about headstone options, installation, and maintenance, contact your chosen State Veterans Cemetery.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Grave Markers
  • Burial Flags
  • Memorial Certificates
  • Pre-Need Eligibility
  • Military Funeral Honors

Sources for More Information