AMELIA—Governor Ralph Northam today celebrated the start of construction to expand the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia County, supported by a $5.23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries Admiration (NCA). The funds will be used to add 3,600 new pre-placed burial crypts at the cemetery, which is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS).
The expansion will cover approximately seven acres, enabling the cemetery to provide continued service for approximately 178,884 veterans and their eligible family members. The Governor was joined by NCA Deputy Undersecretary for Field Programs and Cemetery Operations Glenn Powers, Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins, VDVS Commissioner John Maxwell and Director of Cemetery Services Michael Henshaw.
“More than 721,000 veterans call Virginia home, and we are committed to caring for them through every stage of their lives, which includes providing dignified final resting places,” said Governor Northam. “We are grateful to the National Cemetery Administration for the trust they place in the Commonwealth, and the guidance and support they provide our Department of Veterans Services.”
The Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia was the first of three state veterans cemeteries established in the Commonwealth, opening on December 1997. The cemetery encompasses 127 acres, with 28 acres currently developed. Since its dedication, more than 6,000 veterans and their dependents have been interred at the cemetery. In addition to the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, VDVS also operates the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin.
“Expanding the capacity of the Virginia Veterans Cemetery aligns with our mission to honor the legacy of those who served,” said Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins. “At the end of the day, we want to do everything we can to take care of our Virginia veterans and their families.”
Photos from the groundbreaking ceremony can be found below.
About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans. Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s and memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit dvs.virginia.gov.
About the National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) operates 152 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 42 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve, and maintain 117 veterans cemeteries in 48 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers, or medallions to commemorate their service. In 2017, VA honored more than 361,892 veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal, and private cemeteries. For information, please visit va.gov/cem.
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