The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) held a dedication ceremony in Omaha, NE for the new Omaha National Cemetery.
"We gather here in gratitude for all those who have served our nation in uniform," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. "Here, we dedicate a new place in their honor: a place that reflects our gratitude, our love, and our devotion for their having done their duty." McDonald provided the keynote address and was joined by Interim Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs Ronald E. Walters, Omaha National Cemetery Director Cindy VanBibber and elected officials as the dedication plaque was unveiled. Military honors included a firing detail by the Nebraska Army National Guard. Music and National Anthem was provided by United States Air Force (USAF) Heartland of America Band, followed by a flyover of a RC-135 (Rivet Joint) flown by the 55th Wing, 338th Combat Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base.
The new 236-acre cemetery will serve the burial needs of more than 112,000 Veterans in the cemetery’s service area. The VA purchased the land for the cemetery in December 2012 for $6 million. The property is located along South 144th St. (Highway 50), at 14250 Schram Road in Sarpy County. The cemetery will serve Veterans, spouses, and eligible dependents in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa not currently served with an open national, state or tribal Veterans cemetery within 75 miles of their residence. The closest national cemetery is Leavenworth National Cemetery located in Leavenworth, Kan., approximately 180 miles away. The initial phase of the cemetery will develop approximately 35 acres of land that will include pre-placed crypts, columbarium niches, in-ground niches, a scattering garden, administration building and other supporting infrastructure elements. The cemetery’s first phase will provide for approximately 10 years of burials.
VA National Cemeteries are dedicated to the service and sacrifice of our nation's Veterans and their families. While we invite visitors to all 135 VA national cemeteries, we remind them of its solemn purpose and request they act in a dignified manner while on the cemetery grounds. For this reason, recreational gaming, like Pokémon Go, is not permitted. In addition, sports or recreational activities, including but not limited to: bicycle riding, jogging or recreational walking, picnicking, skateboarding or roller blading, walking of pets, fishing or hunting are prohibited.
We maintain these hallowed grounds as national shrines, committed to preserving the decorum and sanctity of them.
We remind the community that most cemeteries are open for visitation from dawn until dusk and welcome them in to learn more about the legacy of those interred there. For further information on specific cemeteries, please call the cemetery's administration office directly. For a listing of all National, state and tribal cemeteries, please visit: http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/cems/listcem.asp.
American forces in the Pacific during World War II faced challenges never before experienced by the U.S. military. From the sheer geographic expanse of the theater of operations to the reliance on naval strength, this piece of the war is critical to understanding how the conflict shaped our history. This program creates a teacher’s institute that helps teachers create and develop lesson plans and teaching ideas, with a specific focus on stories of sacrifice found in ABMC and NCA sites and resources in the Pacific.
As the National Cemetery Administration launches these inaugural components of the new Veterans Legacy Program, educators are invited to develop new resources in the future. You can apply now to be one of 18 middle and high school teachers to study the experiences of America’s World War II Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen as they fought throughout the Pacific by visiting the program website: http://abmceducation.org/apply.
VA offers an application form specific to the medallion. The form is labeled 40-1330M and can be downloaded from the following link: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA40-1330M.pdf.
The medallion is furnished in lieu of a traditional government headstone or grave marker to those Veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. The medallion is available in three sizes: Large (6-3/8"W x 4-3/4"H x 1/2"D), Medium (3-3/4"W x 2-7/8"H x 1/4"D) and Small (2"W x 1-1/2"H x 1/3"D). Each medallion is inscribed with the word "VETERAN" across the top and the branch of service at the bottom. Once a claim for a medallion is received and approved, VA will mail the medallion along with a kit that will allow the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the device to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.