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.
Rules of conduct: Picnicking, jogging, other recreational activities and the cutting or removal of cemetery plantings and shrubbery are prohibited. All pets are prohibited outside of vehicles. Unattended vehicles should be locked. Purses and valuables should be stored out of sight.
Military Funeral Honors
A contingent of the Oregon National Guard is currently assigned to the cemetery to perform full military honors on a first assigned, first served basis. Honor guards from local reserve components, veterans service and other organizations may be secured when the Oregon Honor Guard has been previously assigned or when requested by the next of kin.
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Willamette National Cemetery is located about 10 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon, straddling the Multnomah and Clackamas County lines. As the result of lobbying efforts by several veterans’ organizations, Congress passed Public Law 388 authorizing the Secretary of War to establish a national cemetery in the Portland vicinity in 1941. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill into law, he felt that funds for the purchase of land should be limited to defense needs. As a result, no appropriation was made to build the cemetery.
At the conclusion of World War II, regional authorities again began urging the development of a national cemetery in Oregon. In 1949, the state donated approximately 102 acres and subsequent donations in 1952 brought the total land area to a little over 201 acres. Construction work started in 1950, and the area was officially designated Willamette National Cemetery on Dec. 14, 1950. The first burial occurred in 1951.
An additional 68 acres were dedicated in 1997 and include additional burial sections and columbaria. The latest addition to the cemetery was the 2011 purchase of 38 adjacent acres that are held for future development.
Monuments and Memorials
Willamette National Cemetery is home to the Oregon Korean Veterans Memorial. This series of polished, black granite walls memorializes 283 Oregon servicemen and women who lost their lives in that conflict. Willamette National Cemetery is designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway site.
The American Veterans (AMVETS) donated a carillon to the cemetery in 1975.
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Medal of Honor Recipients
Lieutenant Colonel Stanley T. Adams (Korea) U.S. Army, 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Sesim-ni, Korea, Feb. 4, 1951 (Section H, Grave 3623-O).
First Lieutenant Arnold L. Bjorklund (World War II) U.S. Army, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division, Altavilla, Italy, Sept. 13, 1943 (Section H, Grave 3622-O).
Specialist 4th Class Larry G. Dahl (Vietnam) U.S. Army, 359th Transportation Company, 27th Transportation Battalion, U.S. Support Command, An Khe, Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Feb. 23, 1971 (Section H, Grave 3622-M).
Sergeant 1st Class Loren R. Kaufman (Korea) U.S. Army, Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Yongsan, Korea, Sept. 4 & 5, 1950 (Section H, Grave 3622-N).
Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (Section H, Grave 3623-H)
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Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves between Nov. 1 and March 1. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 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. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. 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. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent 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, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
During the mowing season, arrangements are removed from gravesites on a weekly basis or when they become withered and unsightly. The flower pickup schedule for cemetery sections is as follows:
Monday:Sections A H K L M N O P MN
Tuesday: Sections 6 B C D E F G U V W
Wednesday: Sections Q R S T X Y Z AA BB MA MB
Thursday: Sections 4 CC GG HH MC Columbaria I II III IV V VI
Friday: Sections 1 2 3 5 7 DD EE FF JJ KK LL MM
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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.