$5.23 million grant from National Cemetery Administration will support construction of 3,600 additional burial spaces
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."