Since the Civil War, the United States has maintained national cemeteries to honor its Veterans' service. A century and a half later, these cemeteries offer a broad range of resources for study and opportunities to honor those who have served in the nation's wars. Within their walls and records may be found the story of how the nation has met its debt to those who served in its armed forces and how our understanding of that obligation has deepened with time.
The Veterans Legacy Program offers educators an integrated new suite of lesson plans designed to teach students about the service and sacrifice of our nation's Veterans, and to take advantage of our national cemeteries as historic places for teaching and learning - both in the classroom and on-site. The educational resources of the Veterans Legacy Program draw on rich stories from national cemeteries to offer teachers a variety of hands-on activities directly connected to national curriculum standards.
Customized for middle level and high school students, the program's five lesson plans introduce students to the important roles played by African American and women during the Civil War, to heroic Medal of Honor recipients and diverse service men and women of the Second World War, and to the history and traditions of Memorial Day.
The lesson plans are supplemented online with a variety of additional resources. These include a collection of primary source documents and images, interactive maps, and short videos related to the content of the lesson plans.As the National Cemetery Administration launches these inaugural components of the new Veterans Legacy Program, educators and students are invited to provide comments, suggestions, and contributions to further develop and enhance these initial materials and to develop new resources in the future. Please visit the program website to comment: www.cem.va.gov/legacy.
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.
The Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased Veterans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the PMC program by preparing the certificates which bear the current President's signature expressing the country's grateful recognition of the Veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces. Eligible recipients include the next of kin and loved ones of honorably discharged deceased Veterans. More than one certificate may be provided.
Eligible recipients, or someone acting on their behalf, may apply for a PMC in person at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail or toll-free fax. Requests cannot be sent via email. Please be sure to enclose a copy of the Veteran's discharge and death certificate to verify eligibility, as we cannot process any request without proof of honorable military service. Please submit copies only, as we will not return original documents.
Use VA Form 40-0247 to order the PMC.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works with Veteran service groups, funeral industry partners, public administrators and other concerned citizens to ensure the dignified burial of unclaimed Veterans. "Unclaimed Veterans" are defined as those who die with no next of kin to claim their remains and insufficient funds to cover burial expenses. In addition to burial benefits already provided for deceased, "Unclaimed Veterans," VA will reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter these Veterans in a VA national cemetery. VA will also process retroactive reimbursements in accordance with applicable regulations.