To schedule a burial: Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
Yearly events include a Memorial Day Ceremony the Sunday before Memorial Day at 2:00 p.m. rain or shine. A Veteran's Day Ceremony the Sunday before Veteran's Day at 2:00 p.m. rain or shine and the Annual Candlelight Service the 2nd Saturday of December at 4:30 p.m.
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery oversees and maintains soldiers plots in Ashland Cemetery in Carlisle, Pa., and Prospect Hill Cemetery in York, Pa.
Indiantown Gap National Cemetery is currently under construction with its phase IV expansion project. This expansion will add 13,002 gravesites to the cemetery consisting of 5,500 columbaria niches and 7,502 crypt and casket sites. Two new interment shelters and an Honor Guard building will also be constructed with improvements to the front entrance, roadways, parking spaces as well as a new exit on to Biddle road. The first columbarium will be turned over in June, 2012 with the entire project completion date of October 2013.
During our expansion project access to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial and upper parking lot may be restricted for short periods but open for all scheduled functions and holidays. During construction to the main entrance on Fisher Avenue (RT 934), a detour to our Indiantown Gap road entrance may be in place for a couple days. We regret any hardship this may cause as we continue to expand and improve Indiantown Gap National Cemetery to better serve our Veterans.
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Indiantown Gap derives its name from the various Native American communities that resided in this region of Pennsylvania. The first inhabitants were Susquehannocks, an Iroquois tribe first encountered by Europeans in the 17th century. In the mid-1700s, Scotch-Irish, English and German pioneers settled the region and managed to live peacefully with the neighboring Lenape Indians. During the French and Indian War, however, tribes who were allied with French colonists raided many English frontier settlements. As Indiantown Gap increasingly became the site of frequent battles, pioneers built a number of defensive structures, including Swatara Fort, Harpers Fort and Reeds Fort.
In the 1930s, when the Pennsylvania National Guard needed a larger area for training maneuvers and firing ranges, the government authorized the acquisition of 12,047 acres in Dauphin and Lebanon counties. The 55th Infantry Brigade was the first unit to use Fort Indiantown Gap when it held its annual maneuvers at the reservation in summer 1932. The following year, the 53rd Field Artillery first trained at Indiantown Gap, and in 1934, the 28th Infantry Division and 52nd Cavalry Brigade were assembled there. Over 100 buildings from nearby Mount Gretna—including officers' mess halls, administration buildings, latrines and bathhouses—were dismantled and hauled by truck to the present location at Indiantown Gap.
After World War II, Indiantown Gap became a separation center for officers and enlisted men returning from overseas, and eventually home to the 32,000 troops of the 5th Infantry Division and a training center during the Korean War. From 1962 to 1973, Indiantown Gap was the host installation for the largest Reserve Officers Training Corps advanced summer camp nationwide. During this 11-year period, 41,158 cadets completed training. In 1975, Fort Indiantown Gap became a camp for Southeast Asian refugees. For eight months, more than 22,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees were resettled through this facility.
In 1976, a section of Fort Indiantown Gap was selected as the national cemetery for the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania donated Land for the 677-acre site to the Veterans Administration.
Monuments and Memorials
The elaborate Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial is the largest monument in VA’s National cemeteries. The combination open-air space and building stands 107 feet high and 360 feet long. Its design evokes "the ruins of a war-torn building centered in a land of solemnity." Designed by Cee Jay Associates of West Chester, Pa., the granite, stone, and concrete composition was dedicated Oct. 7, 2001. The memorial is dedicated to all who serve the nation and veterans of all wars—past and future. Sponsors were veterans, the estate of Maj. Charles and Eva Hawkins and the state of Pennsylvania.
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A golf cart is available to transport handicapped/disabled individuals to graves Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding federal holidays.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Funeral arrangements to include a casket spray and three floral pieces accompanying the casket or urn at the time of the burial will be placed on the completed grave. They will be removed at the discretion of the cemetery when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing. During the mowing season, the first and third Wednesdays of each month are designated flower pick-up days.
During the mowing season, the first (1st) and third (3rd) Wednesdays of each month are designated flower pick-up days. Additional pick-ups may be necessary after holidays.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. They will be removed and disposed of when they become unsightly.
Artificial flowers will be permitted only from Nov. 15 through March 1 when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. While potted plants are not suggested, they are permitted 10 days before through 10 days after Easter.
The cemetery will provide temporary plastic containers to the public for displaying floral arrangements. Permanent in-ground containers are not authorized.
Individual flags are not permitted on the graves. In lieu of the small individual grave flags, we display the Avenue of Flags, which provides a unique visible tribute to all of our Nation’s veterans. Flagpoles will be purchased to extend our Avenue of Flags to include new burial sections.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets, and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 9. All seasonal adornments, Christmas wreaths, grave blankets, etc., will be removed on Jan. 10. Grave blankets can be no larger than two feet by three feet. Floral items may not be secured to the markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects, Christmas trees, balloons, pumpkins, and similar items are not permitted on the graves. VA does not permit adornments, which are:
- Considered offensive
- Inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery
- Considered hazardous to cemetery personnel (beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury)
Floral Items or decorations cannot be secured to headstones or markers. Unauthorized items will be removed by cemetery personnel and discarded.
Please do not park on any grassy areas. Please remain on paved road areas.
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