As part of a process that has been ongoing for several years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it hopes to secure funding soon for the construction of at least eight new cemeteries nationally soon.
According to estimates it will cost as much as $24 million to build all the cemeteries being discussed, with an emphasis placed on creating sites in rural areas.
At least two of the cemetery projects under discussion will be columbariums. Those above- ground tombs are set to be built in the New York neighborhood of Queens, as well as Indianapolis.
A separate columbarium is set for construction in San Francisco, with a general 2027 site opening date.
Two months ago, the VA announced plans to build a new cemetery in Elko, Nevada, prompting Matt Quinn, VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, to remark in a statement that once the Nevada site is completed, “approximately 94% of America’s Veterans will have a national, state, or tribal cemetery located within 75 miles of where they live.”
For the present, the closest VA cemetery from Elko is located some 170 miles to the north in Buhl, Idaho. Recent VA work has additionally seen the expansion of existing cemeteries in Hawaii, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, among other localities.
There are currently nearly 160 veterans’ cemeteries in more than forty states that are a part of the U.S. National Cemetery System, with the most famous, the 639-acre Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia, containing more than 400,000 graves.
By Garry Boulard
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