National Cemetery Administration
Lexington National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed federal holidays.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Lexington National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial. For more information visit our eligibility web page.
Cemetery is located in the city of Lexington. The nearest airport is Lexington Blue Grass Airport. Take Versailles Road to Circle 4 West to Leestown Road onto Lexington's Main Street. The National Cemetery is located within the Lexington Cemetery.
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.
This cemetery is supervised by the Kentucky National Cemetery Complex. Please call 859-885-5727 for further information. In the event you are unable to reach us, please call Lebanon National Cemetery at 270-692-3390 and someone will assist you.
Lexington National Cemetery is not responsible for any items left at gravesites.
Floral arrangements (up to six) accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed gravesite by cemetery staff. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Temporary metal containers, provided by the cemetery, are available at various sites on cemetery grounds. Please limit one per gravesite. Cemetery provided floral containers are the only floral containers allowed in the cemetery. Perma-vases are not permitted nor are they sold at Lexington National Cemetery.
Artificial flowers and/or potted plants, in unbreakable containers only (cardboard, plastic, metal), are permitted on gravesites from Oct. 10 until April 15. They will also be permitted on graves 10 days before and 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Items are subject to removal on the first and third Fridays during mowing season, and depending on the added frequency of mowing more often, up to twice a week. Depending on the growing season, artificial flowers/potted plants may have to be removed to accommodate the early mowing season, up to twice per week.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets, and related arrangements will be permitted on graves from Dec. 1 until Jan. 20. Grave floral blankets may not be larger than two by three feet, please do not wrap them in plastic, as it destroys the turf.
Floral items and other decorations may not be attached to headstones or markers. Floral stands and saddles are prohibited.
Unauthorized decorations such as permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, upright metal flag holders, and breakable objects of any kind and similar commemorative items are not permitted on the gravesites or on the monuments.
Understanding that families may desire to keep certain floral arrangements, we have in place a procedure that, upon the family's written request, cemetery personnel will place the arrangement in a designated location for 30 days, after which, arrangements will be disposed of.
The staff at Lexington National Cemetery want to thank you for your cooperation in helping us to make this cemetery a national shrine, a final resting place of Honor and Dignity in memory of the veterans of this great nation.
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.
Lexington National Cemetery originated in 1861 as a small soldier's lot within Lexington City Cemetery, a place that in its heyday was considered "one of the most beautiful and carefully kept rural cemeteries in the United States." The first burial in the soldier's lot was made during the Civil War on Nov. 28, 1861. In 1863, the soldiers' lot was designated a national cemetery. In 1867, the government purchased an additional 0.38 acres that doubled the cemetery's size to its current three-quarters of an acre.
The cemetery tract is triangular, with graves arranged in concentric circles. Its boundaries are marked by carved marble posts emblazoned with "US." A bronze plaque identifies this property as Lexington National Cemetery. Of the original burials, 671 were non-commissioned officers and privates who died in hospitals or camps operating around Lexington during the war. After the war, Quartermaster Corps personnel were charged with locating all Union soldier's remains and re-interring them in national cemeteries. Additional soldiers who had fallen in battles at Falmouth, Cynthiana, Mount Sterling, Paris and along the Kentucky Central Railroad line were buried at Lexington National Cemetery.
The soldier's portion closed to burials in 1939, but it and the surrounding city cemetery remain a neatly maintained and picturesque burial ground. It was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
Monuments and Memorials
By 1869, a 32-pound seacoast artillery gun was mounted vertically as a memorial, like those found in many other national cemeteries, but it was removed early in the 20th century. There are no monuments or memorials in the cemetery today.