To schedule a burial: 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.
The new 561-acre national cemetery in Solano County, Calif., will serve veterans' needs for the next 50 years. The cemetery is 27 miles southwest of Sacramento along Interstate 80 between Dixon and Vacaville. About 346,000 veterans live within the service area of the cemetery.
Carter & Burgess, an architect/engineering firm from Sacramento, was awarded the contract to produce the master planning and design documents. VA awarded the construction contract to K.O.O. Construction, Inc., West Sacramento, Calif.
The construction contract calls for the development of an initial area of 14 acres, which will provide 8,466 gravesites consisting of 4,712 full casket and 3,754 in-ground burial sites for cremated remains. Initial operations will be conducted utilizing a temporary office, committal service shelter and equipment shed.
Burial arrangements will be made after death, as with all national cemeteries. VA does not reserve grave space. Veterans or spouses wishing to be buried in national cemeteries should have the veteran’s military separation papers available to establish eligibility, which requires an other-than-dishonorable discharge. Dependent children may also be buried.
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Sacramento Valley National Cemetery is the seventh national cemetery built in California and the 124th in the national cemetery system.
Like many lands in the western United States, the Homestead Act of 1862 facilitated the settlement of the site of what is now the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. In the late 1860's, the site consisted of nine separate parcels, which were subsequently acquired by private citizens through preemption (an individual's right to settle land first and pay for it later) and homestead claims. During the 20th century, these separate parcels were gradually consolidated under one owner. The site was continuously used as farmland from the 1860's until it was purchased by the National Cemetery Administration in 2004. Crops raised on the property at the time of NCA's purchase included corn, alfalfa, beans, squash, and peppers.
The Union Pacific Railroad, formerly the Southern Pacific Railroad, and prior to that the Central Pacific Railroad, intersects the southeastern corner of the property. In May 1869, the famous golden spike was driven in Promontory Summit, Utah, to symbolically mark the completion of the “First Trans-Continental Railroad,” connecting Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento. However, the rail network did not actually reach the Pacific Ocean until the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, connecting San Francisco and Sacramento in November of that year.
The First Trans-Continental Railroad linked the West Coast with the existing railroad network in the eastern United States, and contributed dramatically to the economic development and population growth of California. The Southern Pacific Railroad leased the Central Pacific railroad in 1885; over time, the Southern Pacific Railroad grew into a massive railway network throughout the Western and Southwestern United Sates, stretching down from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans. The Southern Pacific Railroad was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996.
Sacramento Valley National Cemetery opened for burials in 2006, and was formally dedicated on April 22, 2007.
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Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed on the completed grave. Natural cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time of the year. They will be removed when they become unsightly or when it becomes necessary to facilitate cemetery operations such as mowing.
Artificial flowers and potted plants will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers and potted plants will be allowed on graves for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday and Memorial Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 1 through Jan. 20. They may not be secured to headstones or markers. Do not attach any items to the headstone, marker or niche cover.
Permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects and similar items are not permitted on the graves. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not permit adornments which are considered offensive, inconsistent with the dignity of the cemetery or considered hazardous to cemetery personnel. For example, items incorporating beads or wires may become entangled in mowers or other equipment and cause injury.
Permanent items removed from graves will be placed in an inconspicuous holding area for one month prior to disposal. Decorative items removed from graves remain the property of the donor but are under the custodianship of the cemetery. If not retrieved by donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
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