WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01), the Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, led a hearing today that examined the current state of national veterans’ cemeteries. Titus joined other western members of Congress in raising concerns over a lack of access to national cemeteries, particularly in western states.
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) has grown dramatically since its creation in 1862 when 14 cemeteries were established to serve as a permanent resting place for those killed during the Civil War. While there are now 131 national cemeteries, 11 states with a combined veteran population of 1.8 million are not served by a national cemetery.
Titus highlighted the chasm that exists in the west whereby more than half of the 11 states without a National Cemetery are in the Western United States: Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.
“It is my belief that the option of a burial in a VA national cemetery, in the state you call home, is a solemn obligation our government should fulfill,” said Rep. Titus. “The state with the largest veterans population without a national cemetery happens to be Nevada, which is home to a fast growing population of over 301,000 veterans. Western states have been overlooked for too long.”
Titus’ full opening statement can be found here.