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National Cemetery Administration

Replacement Headstones and Markers

Headstones and markers previously furnished by the Government may be replaced at Government expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized. We may also replace the new (or modern) headstone or marker if the inscription is incorrect, if it was damaged during shipping, or if the material or workmanship does not meet contract specifications. Please note that historic headstones (those greater than 50 years of age) will not be replaced to correct inscription inaccuracies based on modern research; requests for replacement of historic headstones will only be honored when inscriptions are worn to the point that they can no longer be read or if the headstone is otherwise damaged beyond repair.

If a Government headstone or marker in a private cemetery is damaged by cemetery personnel, the cemetery should pay all replacement costs.

Marble and granite headstones or markers that are permanently removed from a grave must be destroyed, ensuring that the inscription is no longer legible. Bronze markers must be returned to the contractor.

For guidance on obtaining a replacement headstone or marker, you may call the Memorial Programs Service Applicant Assistance Unit between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, at the toll-free number below:


Or click on the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page to contact the office via e-mail. Be sure to include the Veteran’s name, social security and/or service number, and date of death.