The Benefits of a National Cemetery Burial for Veterans

By: Vito Arahovites
Monday, March 14, 2016

Military personnel and veterans often choose national cemeteries as their final resting places, and there are several reasons for this, including the many benefits offered to veterans and their families who take this path. Your family and loved ones can still work with the funeral home of your choice to ensure that all your needs and requests are met and that you get all the advantages offered by a national cemetery burial. Along with taking care of the opening, closing, and care of the grave, the Department of Veterans Affairs will also include a:

  • Government headstone or marker
  • Burial flag
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

Taking Care of Your Needs

When you choose a burial in a national cemetery, the Department of Veterans Affairs and cemetery staff will take care of opening and closing the grave before and after the service, and will preserve and clean the site in perpetuity. This means your family and loved ones will always have a quiet and well-maintained place to come to share, remember, and pay respects. Cemetery staff will also see to setting the headstone, and knowing this is taken care of will give your family peace of mind during a difficult time.  

Remembering Your Life and Honoring Your Service

For every veteran buried in a national cemetery, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a headstone to mark the final resting place, so that family and friends will always be able to visit when they wish. The first line of each headstone reads “In Memory of,” and the stone can also be inscribed with your name, branch of service, and the years of your birth and death.

As a small token of gratitude from the nation you bravely served, you will also be provided with a folded United States flag, which can accompany either your casket or your urn. You will also be given a Presidential Memorial Certificate, which is a gold-embossed certificate signed by the president and inscribed with your name.

Respecting All Your Wishes

Burial in a national cemetery means this country will honor your final wishes and the wishes of your family, so you can still choose burial or cremation, can still be buried with your loved ones, and can still choose your final resting place.

If you wish for burial, you can pick whether you want a flat marker in bronze, marble, or granite, or if you’d rather a standing headstone in granite or marble. Perhaps you or your family have already picked out a private headstone, and if that’s the case, you will be provided with a medallion that can be affixed to the headstone. If you wish to be cremated, your remains will be inurned in the national cemetery, and you'll be provided with a marker instead of a headstone.

You can also be buried alongside your spouse, minor children, and perhaps unmarried adult children. And you'll have the option of selecting which cemetery you'd like to be your final resting place, giving you over 100 locations to choose from across the country.

If you are considering burial in a national cemetery, talk to your funeral directors to see how they can help, and how they can make planning easier.


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