Tahoma National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans 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 Sea-Tac Airport, take Interstate-5 southbound to exit 142A (Highway 18 Auburn/North Bend). Stay on Highway 18 for 13 miles. Take the S.E. 256th Street exit. At the stop sign turn left onto 256th Street. At the first traffic light, turn right onto 180th Avenue S.E. proceed straight after three way stop. At the stop sign, turn right onto 240th Street. Tahoma National Cemetery is ¼ mile on left.
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.
From the flag assembly area looking southward, Mt. Rainier is ever present. A magnificent setting for the final resting place of our nation's heroes, our veterans.
The Public Information Center is manned totally by volunteers. These volunteers help the visitors that come to Tahoma National Cemetery with many questions and concerns. They also coordinate with cemetery personnel on the funeral corteges and getting the family to the correct shelter for the committal service.
Military Funeral Honors
Tahoma National Cemetery has a Veterans Service Organization Honor Guard Association. These veterans provide honors to 90 percent of the veterans interred here. The Association is made up of The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Elks Club, and other organizations.
Cemetery policies are conspicuously posted and readily visible to the public.
The cemetery staff will place three floral arrangements, which accompanied the casket or urn at the time of burial, 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 will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers 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.
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 that 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 the donor, they are then governed by the rules for disposal of federal property.
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.
Tahoma National Cemetery was established Nov. 11, 1993, and opened for interments on Oct. 1, 1997. The cemetery was dedicated on Sept. 26, 1997. A small expansion projects was completed in March 2006, the $6 million project included over 12,000 new columbarium niches, more than 5,000 pre-placed crypts, road improvements, new signage, a third committal shelter and a third funeral cortege lane at the Public Information Center. Phase II expansion project was completed June 2014, the $24 million project included over 14,000 new columbarium niches, more than 9,000 pre-placed crypts, more than 6,000 in-ground garden cremation sites, two memorial walls and an ossuary. Two new roads for accessing the new burial sections were constructed using permeable asphalt. The three new columbarium complexes contain rain gardens and bio swales to help mitigate the need for storm water runoff and retention ponds.
Monument and Memorials
Tahoma has a Memorial walkway containing 36 memorials that commemorate soldiers of various 20th century wars, donated by various service organizations. At the northeast corner of the walkway is the POW-MIA flag. At the southwest corner of the walkway is a carillon that was donated by the Navy Fleet reserve Association Seattle branch 18 and was installed in 2010, dedicated to the volunteers of Tahoma National Cemetery.
A Blue Star Memorial is located south of the Public Information Center. The marker was originally part of a banner that families displayed in their homes during the 1940s to signify that they had a loved one fighting in World War II. Today, the marker honors all veterans.
Medal of Honor Recipients
Second Lieutenant Jesse T. Barrick (Civil War), 57th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Infantry. Near Duck River, Tenn., May 26 - June 2, 1863 (Section 8, Grave 108).
Private First Class Dexter J. Kerstetter (World War II), Company C, 130th Infantry, 33rd Infantry Division. Near Galiano, Luzon, Philippine Island, April 13, 1945 (Section 9B, Grave 12).
Sergeant First Class Nathan Ross Chapman -- first American serviceman to die from hostile fire in the war in Afghanistan in 2002. Sergeant Chapman was a communications specialist with the 1st Special Forces Group at Fort Lewis, Wash. (Section 6, Grave 33).
Francis Agnes -- former POW (1941 to 1945), survivor of the Bataan Death March, founder of the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group (Section 24, Grave 717).