How does it work, to buried in a national cemetery?

Discussion in 'Memorials & Cemeteries' started by primalclaws1974, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. The national cemeteries I have been to are pretty large. Even the rural cemetery outside of Sturgis was quite big. My question is, how does one go about placing a loved one in a national cemetery? Does the government pay for it? Is it based on honor (died in the line of duty)? Why are some soldiers buried in national cemeteries and others are interned in a military section in their local burial grounds?
  2. Kate

    Kate Active Member

    Current cemeteries I don't know. (although I suspect the answer may be on the Arlington website.)

    In Civil War times, specifically Gettysburg National Cemetery and Hollywood in Richmond, (Hmmm... probably Antietam, too) it was as simple as the family deciding where they wanted their loved one to rest eternally. If they sent someone to get the body from the battlefield, they were often buried locally or in a family plot. If they wanted the person buried with comrades or where they fell, there was always room for them.

    These days, though... don't know, but I'll bet someone here will be able to answer @Interrogator#6 ?? I'd have to guess that there are strict policies now, or every national cemetery in the country would be overloaded.
    primalclaws1974 likes this.
  3. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell New Member

    Today the qualifications are pretty simple. Veterans and their spouses is the simple answer but National Cemeteries are also open to Merchant Mariners and many more - but all are related to being a military member, or killed in combat, or served in reserve, honorable discharge etc. There is a complete listing which I've copied a link for people to review.
    primalclaws1974 likes this.
  4. That is a great list mkCampbell. Although I appreciate the link and who is eligible, my question was more about why someone would choose to be buried in a national cemetery. At least in the Midwest, national cemeteries are few and far between. Someone might have drive all day to go visit a loved one. Would it not make more sense to buried in the military section of your local cemetery?
  5. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell New Member

    Ahh, gotcha. That decision is with the person and family. I can tell you this that my father and I would choose not to be in a National Cemetery as we would want to be in a location near our families / family plot etc. While my son and his wife would choose to be in a National Cemetery. It all depends on the person and the family. Our son is career military and has lived that life longer that anyone else in the family. So it's natural to want to be buried in an environment and setting that suits him.

    Also, local cemeteries do provide services for military members and many graves are marked as such. Some even have dedicated areas, dedicated markers etc. That depends on the cemetery. Also, many VA and VFW groups in areas without a National cemetery provide color guard services and Bugles Across America has volunteer military burglars across the country. The same goes with requesting a flag, Military Chaplain, etc. Those services are often provided by locally/regionally based reserve or Guard units. So, all of the things that go along with a military funeral can be done locally away from a National Cemetery which may suit the family fine.

    Long story short... it's up to the deceased wishes and the surviving spouse or family. Hope this information helps.
  6. Thank you again. Please don't take offense at what I am about to type, but why should the person being buried get to decide to be buried far from the rest of their family? I understand most people make the decisions to what happens to their body (my dad recently passed away and choose no service, viewing or burial, to our dismay), but the whole idea seems a little silly to me. The person that has passed on is not going to hear the ceremony, the words, see who was able to drive long distances to be at the gravesite services. The deceased doesn't have to worry about being able to take an entire weekend to go to a grave. The list goes on. I realize that this might sound petty, but with my dad it was shocking to learn what he decided. Honestly, we aren't 100% convinced it was his wishes, and not my stepmom's idea, so if your family really wants to buried in a certain place, I suggest putting it in the will or some other writing.
  7. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell New Member

    I think you answered your own question. If you want to be buried somewhere and in a certain manner you should let somebody know.

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