National Cemetery Administration
VA Purchases Land for a New Rural National Cemetery
October 6, 2015
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it purchased six acres of land located in Cassian, Wisconsin, to establish a new rural national cemetery, also referred to as a National Veterans Burial Ground. VA purchased the land from the town of Cassian for a total of $24,000.
“Our cemeteries are national shrines that honor the brave men and women who sacrificed for our country,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “We are pleased to expand burial service to Veterans, their spouses and families in Wisconsin. This National Veterans Burial Ground will help us reach Veterans in rural parts of Wisconsin who have not previously had reasonable access to a national or state Veterans cemetery.”
The new facility, located in Oneida County near Rhinelander, will serve approximately 24,300 Veterans located in the service area of the cemetery. It will include in-ground casket burial sites, in-ground cremation burial sites, above-ground columbarium niches, a memorial wall, flagpoles, a memorial walkway, roads and other infrastructure.
Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s only national cemetery, closed to first interment casketed burials in 1997 and to first interment cremation burials in 2001. The closest open national cemetery is Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, approximately 220 miles away.
There are three open VA-funded state Veterans cemeteries in Wisconsin located in Union Grove, King, and Spooner. The closest state Veterans cemetery to Cassian is the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located about 140 miles away in Spooner.
VA’s Rural Burial Initiative provides burial access for Veterans not currently served by a burial option at either a national or VA-funded state cemetery. VA plans to build other burial grounds in Idaho, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. VA dedicated its first National Veterans Burial Ground, Yellowstone National Cemetery in Montana, in May 2014.
VA operates 132 national cemeteries, one National Veterans Burial Ground, and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every U.S. war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve, and maintain 95 Veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories, including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. VA also provides headstones, markers, or medallions to mark the graves of Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery. In 2014, VA honored more than 356,000 Veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal, and private cemeteries.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from local national cemetery offices and from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov.