National Cemetery Administration
National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
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.
From Airport: Take Interstate 10 West to State Route 51 North. Follow State Route 51 to Loop 101 West. Following Loop 101 West to Cave Creek Road. Turn North on Cave Creek Road to Pinnacle Peak Road, turn East on Pinnacle Peak Road and go ¼ mile. Cemetery will be on the right.
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.
Military Funeral Honors
The Department of Defense provides honor guard details for all Veteran services.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Flowers: Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave after the interment. They will be removed when they become unsightly or as necessary to facilitate cemetery operations. Fresh cut and artificial flowers may be placed on graves at anytime. Arrangements may not be more than 20" high.
Flower Containers: Temporary plastic flower containers are provided by the cemetery and may be found in containers located throughout the cemetery. No more than two vases per site are permitted on the grave year round. We request that you limit your flowers to two temporary vases so that there are some available for all of our visitors. Flower containers should be centered at the bottom portion of the marker. The hole in the marker base is not for flower vases; it is part of the design of the concrete base only.
Permanent containers are no longer authorized and will be removed during renovations of sites. NMCA is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to in-ground vases.
Special Occasions: During the Christmas Season you may place one of the following: Christmas wreath, Christmas plant, Christmas tree (plants and Christmas trees are limited in height, maximum 20 inches), Christmas Floral Blankets (maximum size is 2 feet by 3 feet), or flowers during the period from Dec. 1 through the 3rd week in January. All grave decorations will be removed and discarded starting Jan. 16, 2017.
Potted plants and/or artificial arrangements for Easter and Memorial Day will be permitted on the graves 10 days before through 10 days after these holidays. Cemetery personnel will remove and discard these items when the time period has elapsed.
Special Guidelines: Permanent plants of any type are not permitted on graves and will be removed when found. To maintain the dignity of the cemetery, items such as statues, glass of any kind, vigil lights, shepherd's hooks, wind chimes, pinwheels, balloons, memorabilia, and commemorative items are not permitted on the graves. No items may be secured in any way to markers, niche covers, or plant material and will be removed when found. Items which are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery, or hazardous to cemetery personnel will also be removed. All decorations will be removed from all gravesites starting January 16, 2017 and also starting July 11, 2017.
In order to be responsive to the public, all unauthorized items placed on the graves will be removed by cemetery personnel and placed in the maintenance compound for a period of one month prior to disposal.
Flags and flag holders: Only U.S. 8" by 12" cemetery marking flags are permitted on graves. On Memorial Day weekend the cemetery, with assistance from volunteer organizations, places flags on each gravesite. They are removed after the holiday. The Avenue of Flags, which consists of donated casket flags, is displayed on Veterans Day and other special occasions in lieu of individual grave flags.
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.
A state law was passed in 1976 and signed by Governor Raul Castro authorizing the development of a state veterans cemetery. The cemetery was dedicated December 9, 1978 and the first burial occurred on March 19, 1979. The cemetery was officially transferred to the VA on April 1, 1989. The cemetery consists of 225 acres and will not reach capacity until well after the year 2030. The Department of Veterans Affairs spent over $13 million for improvements in 1999. The project included three new committal shelters, maintenance building, visitor center, founders plaza, assembly area, columbaria, and extensive landscaping.
Monuments and Memorials
As of 2003, there were 18 monuments and memorials at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, most arranged along a memorial walkway. Two unique memorials at the cemetery are the Eternal Flame monument, which is pyramidal in shape, and the World War II Submarine Torpedo monument.
Nathan E. Cook, the last survivor of the Spanish American War, died in 1992 at the age of 106.
Sidney Bedoni, a native of Arizona, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 20, 1942. PFC Bedoni was a Navajo Code Talker in the Pacific Theater during World War II and served until January 18, 1946. Bedoni reenlisted in the Army on April 21, 1948, and fought during the Korean War. In 1988, Bedoni was promoted to sergeant major for his service. In 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were presented with the Congressional Silver Medal. Bedoni, the last surviving Navajo Code Talker paratrooper, died June 8, 2014 (Section 55, Grave 3611).
Richard Dooley, a native of Arizona, enlisted in the U.S. Marines on October 10, 1942. Cpl. Doolie was a Navajo Code Talker in the Pacific Theater during World War II and served until December 26, 1945. In 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were presented with the Congressional Silver Medal. Dooley's honor was posthumous. He died December 24, 1982 (Section 12, Grave 2232).
Arthur J. Hubbard Sr., a Navajo and native of Arizona, served in the U.S. Marine Corps (1939-1945). Pvt. Hubbard instructed Code Talkers during World War II. In 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were presented with the Congressional Silver Medal. Hubbard became the first American Indian elected to Arizona state senator (1972-1984) and he contributed to the establishment of the Navajo Nations first college, Diné College. He died February 7, 2014 (Section 55, Grave 3882).
Joe Kellwood, a native of Arizona, was born in 1921 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in October 1942. PVT First Class Kellwood served in World War II with the 1st Marine Division in the Pacific Theater. Kellwood saw action at Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa, and he continued as a Navajo Code Talker through the war’s end. In 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were presented with the Congressional Silver Medal. After the war Kellwood returned to Arizona where he was active in veterans' organizations. He died September 5, 2016 (Section 52, Grave 161).
Robert "Bert" Tallsalt of Arizona enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 27, 1944, and served as a Navajo Code Talker in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After returning home, Tallsalt took a leadership role in the community, as a councilman representing Navajo Mountain, and as an educator. He received his degree from Utah State University and taught at the Intermountain School in Brigham City, Utah. In 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were presented the Congressional Silver Medal. Tallsalt was active in the Navajo Code Talkers Association until his death in 2003 (Section 18D, Grave 2662).
Educational content is being developed for this national cemetery. New materials will be posted when the information becomes available. For additional information on the Veterans Legacy Program or the NCA History Program, please visit the web page for the Veterans Legacy Program and the NCA History page. Thank you for your interest in learning about the National Cemetery Administration.