VA Announces Site for National Cemetery

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VA Announces Site for National Cemetery

WASHINGTON  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected a 214-acre property near Dolington in southern Bucks County as the site for a new national cemetery in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Southeastern Pennsylvania is one of VA’s priorities for providing a national shrine for veterans,” said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Establishing this national shrine will ensure that thousands of men and women in the region who have worn the uniform have a place that honors their military service.  

VA recently completed an environmental assessment of three potential cemetery sites.  The Secretary made his decision after considering the viability of each site.  

Funds for purchase of the land have been appropriated.  Additional funding will be required for design and construction.

The tract of farm land is about 25 miles north of central Philadelphia

     

At least 170,000 veterans live within 75 miles of the site. Presently, the nearest national cemetery with available grave space is Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, about 90 miles west.

VA plans to begin burials in a small section of the cemetery as soon as late 2008.  Completing construction of the cemetery’s permanent buildings and roadways will require another two years.  This first phase of development will provide enough burial space to serve veterans until 2018.

VA considered 12 sites in the Philadelphia area.  Others were eliminated from final consideration because they were either not large enough, were too far from population centers and highway access, were no longer available, or they had less desirable physical characteristics.

Veterans whose discharges are other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children may be buried in a national cemetery, regardless of where they live.  No advance reservations are made.  Other burial benefits for eligible veterans include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker even if they are not buried in a national cemetery.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from a VA Web site at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. 

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