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National Cemetery Administration

Establishing a State or Tribal Veterans Cemetery

Determine Need

Analyze existing service provided by national cemeteries and other state cemeteries. Consider service life of existing cemeteries. Provide data on Veteran population, including age.

Investigate Availability of Suitable Land

Suitable land should be easily accessed by road, free of limitations such as rock, steep slopes and wetlands, uncompromised by incompatible land uses near by, and appropriate for cemetery use. Land already owned by the state, tribal government, county or municipality is usually the best choice. The state or tribal government must have title to the land.

Assess Impacts

Analyze possible negative environmental and historic preservation impacts the cemetery location may have. Can such limitations be overcome?

Encourage Support

Veterans service organizations should be informed of the project and be in support of an effort to establish a state or tribal Veterans cemetery. Local governments should also be supportive. Ultimately, the state or tribal legislature must pass necessary legislation authorizing the state or tribal cemetery and appropriating funds for establishment and operation.

Complete Application

Apply to the Department of Veterans Affairs for federal assistance with a grant for establishing a state or tribal Veterans cemetery. For forms and other guidance, see OMB Grants Management and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.