National Cemetery Administration
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open all holidays except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial. For more information visit our eligibility web page.
From Sacramento: Take I-80 West approximately 28 miles to Exit 60, Midway Rd. Turn left onto Midway Rd. and the cemetery will be 1.3 miles on the right.
From Sacramento International Airport: The cemetery is 33 miles (53 km) from Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Take Interstate 5 North towards Woodland. Merge onto 113 South towards Davis. Take Interstate I-80 West. Take Midway Road/Lewis Road/Elmira exit. Turn left on Midway Road. Travel 1.3 miles, cemetery will be on the right.
From San Francisco: Take I-80 East approximately 60 miles to Exit 60, Midway Rd. Turn right onto Midway Rd. and the cemetery will be 1.2 miles on the right.
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.
The grave location of your loved one is furnished on the map included in the burial document folder. There is a gravesite locator in the administration building for those who may not know the location of the gravesite. The cemetery office personnel are available to assist visitors during office hours.
A temporary grave marker is used to mark the grave following the interment. A permanent grave marker will be furnished free of charge by the Government without application from the family. Every effort is made to have the grave marker delivered and set within 60 days from the day of interment.
Immediately after each interment, the grave is filled and leveled and may require repeated renovation. Matters that appear to need immediate corrective action should be brought to the attention of the cemetery office personnel.
Military Funeral Honors
Each veteran interred at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery is authorized a military funeral honors detail consisting of at least two uniformed personnel from the veteran’s branch of service to fold and present the flag and play “Taps”, upon request of the family or funeral home. Your local funeral director can assist you with arranging for these honors. If you are not utilizing a funeral home, please wait until after you have scheduled with the National Cemetery Scheduling Office (see “Schedule a Burial” above), and you have a date and time for burial to request military honors from the Branch of Service of the veteran. NOTE: The rifle volley (a.k.a. “21-gun salute”) is not provided by the Department of Defense for veterans unless they are retired from the military or died on active duty. Rifle volleys are available for non-retirees/active duty by contacting the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Honor Guard at the number below.
US Army 1-888-634-7496
US Marines 1-866-826-3628 or 1-703-432-9524
US Navy 1-800-326-9631 or 1-619-556-7178 (or 9790) or 1-916-380-8449
US Air Force 1-800-586-8402
US Coast Guard 1-510-437-6650
SVNC Honor Guard (Rifle Volleys) call Lou Pietrowski, Commander at 1-707-580-6920 (for rifle volleys for non-military retirees)
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted throughout the cemetery and can also be accessed at the automated kiosks located near the entrance to the administration building.
All grave decorations and floral items will be removed from graves on the FIRST AND THIRD WEDNESDAY of each month to facilitate mowing and trimming operations.
Up to three floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave and removed on the Monday following the interment or when they become unsightly. Natural, fresh-cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year and will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations, such as mowing. Plastic floral cones are available for use within the cemetery only and are located in containers throughout the cemetery. One small American flag may be placed on the grave and will be removed and properly disposed of when it is damaged, faded or tattered. At no time shall any object be attached to a grave marker or niche cover, protrude above the top of an upright headstone or encroach on an adjacent grave.
Artificial flowers will be permitted on graves only during the periods 5 days before through 5 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day. Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 15 through Jan. 5.
Permanent plantings, statues, battery or solar-powered items, balloons, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves at any time. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments that are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel, such as items incorporating beads or wires which may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Cemetery personnel will inspect each grave for unsightly or unauthorized items on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Durable Items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by the donor within 30 days of removal from the grave, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
Rules of Behavior: In order to preserve the dignity, beauty and serenity of the cemetery, we ask you to please observe our cemetery restrictions. The following activities are prohibited:
- Any form of sports or recreation, to include, but not limited to jogging, bicycling, skating, picnicking and fishing
- Public gatherings of a partisan nature
- Littering on grounds
- Cutting, breaking or injuring trees, shrubs, grass or other plantings
- Allowing pets outside of vehicle (except service animals)
- Boisterous actions
- Carrying guns, knives or other weapons
VA regulations 38 CFR 1.218 prohibit the carrying of firearms (either openly or concealed), explosives or other dangerous or deadly weapons while on VA property, except for official purposes, such as military funeral honors. Possession of firearms on any property under the charge and control of VA is prohibited. Offenders may be subject to a fine, removal from the premises, or arrest.
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery is the seventh national cemetery built in California and the 124th in the national cemetery system.
Like many lands in the western United States, the Homestead Act of 1862 facilitated the settlement of the site of what is now the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. In the late 1860's, the site consisted of nine separate parcels, which were subsequently acquired by private citizens through preemption (an individual's right to settle land first and pay for it later) and homestead claims. During the 20th century, these separate parcels were gradually consolidated under one owner. The site was continuously used as farmland from the 1860's until it was purchased by the National Cemetery Administration in 2004. Crops raised on the property at the time of NCA's purchase included corn, alfalfa, beans, squash, and peppers.
The Union Pacific Railroad, formerly the Southern Pacific Railroad, and prior to that the Central Pacific Railroad, intersects the southeastern corner of the property. In May 1869, the famous golden spike was driven in Promontory Summit, Utah, to symbolically mark the completion of the “First Trans-Continental Railroad,” connecting Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento. However, the rail network did not actually reach the Pacific Ocean until the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, connecting San Francisco and Sacramento in November of that year.
The First Trans-Continental Railroad linked the West Coast with the existing railroad network in the eastern United States, and contributed dramatically to the economic development and population growth of California. The Southern Pacific Railroad leased the Central Pacific railroad in 1885; over time, the Southern Pacific Railroad grew into a massive railway network throughout the Western and Southwestern United Sates, stretching down from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans. The Southern Pacific Railroad was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996.
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery opened for burials in 2006, and was formally dedicated on April 22, 2007.
Monuments and Memorials
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery features a memorial pathway lined with a variety of memorials that honor America's veterans. As of 2016, there are 7 memorials here.
Newman Camay Golden was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 12, 1919. He joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, graduated from the Tuskegee pilot training program in 1944, and served with the 99th Fighter Group in Italy. Photographer Toni Frissell recorded the Tuskegee Airmen stationed at Ramitelli in 1945. Flight Officer Golden appears in several photographs. Soon after, on March 20, during a bomber escort mission over Austria, Golden parachuted from his damaged aircraft. He was imprisoned at Moosburg until Allied forces arrived to liberate the camp. Golden then enlisted to serve in the Korean War. On October 17, 1951, 1st Lieutenant Golden’s aircraft was hit, burst into flames and crashed. Golden was missing in action until March 31, 1954, when his status changed to killed in action. 1st lt. Golden received the Purple Heart, and in July 2014, a memorial for him took place at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (Section MW, Row A, Grave 01-A).
Educational content is being developed for this national cemetery. New materials will be posted when the information becomes available. For additional information on the Veterans Legacy Program or the NCA History Program, please visit the web page for the Veterans Legacy Program and the NCA History page. Thank you for your interest in learning about the National Cemetery Administration.