National Cemetery Administration
Veterans Legacy Program: About
NCA established the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP) on Memorial Day 2016. In its first year, VLP developed educational resources and interactive maps for Beaufort National Cemetery and Riverside National Cemetery.
For the 2016-17 academic year, VLP partnered with three universities, engaging students and scholars in researching and sharing the histories of Veterans in their communities: San Francisco State University, Black Hills State University, and University of Central Florida.
The program at University of Central Florida (UCF) was led by Dr. Amelia Lyons. She and her colleagues engaged graduates and undergraduates in primary source-based research about Veterans interred in Florida National Cemetery and engaging area middle school students in this discovery, on-site at Florida National Cemetery. The UCF team produced cutting-edge digital resources, advancing how we enhance memorialization of Veterans both on-site at the national cemetery and remotely.
Ms. Kelly Kirk and her colleagues at Black Hills State University (BHSU) engaged students in oral history-based research on Veterans in five Veterans cemetery in western South Dakota, i.e. "West River." The BHSU team worked to share previously underrepresented aspects of the national narrative of the Veteran experience: the Veterans Legacy of South Dakota American Indians and the rural Veterans experience, as well as the experience of rural families during times of war.
The program at San Francisco State University (SFSU) was led by Dr. Daniel Bernardi, a professor of film and a Navy Veteran. The SFSU team worked to share diversity of the Veteran experience of Bay Area Veterans from the Civil War to today through the lived experiences of Veterans interred at San Francisco National Cemetery and Golden Gate National Cemetery. Students from SFSU researched the Veterans' history, and students also produced 12 short-form documentaries to tell these stories [link to Legacy vid page - legacy/media.asp or videos.asp].
Also for the 2016-17 academic year, VLP was proud to partner with the American Battle Monuments Commission on the Understanding Sacrifice program. NCA & ABMC partnered with National History Day [link to their site] and George Mason University to create a unique program of teacher education. Through a competitive selection process, teachers from around the country joined the program, researching "fallen heroes" from their hometown and creating lesson plans about them. These teachers also had the opportunity to visit the gravesite of their fallen hero and give a eulogy of them.
In summer 2017, VLP welcomed interns from the United State Military Academy at West Point, NY. They began their internship in the National Capitol Region, learning the history of national memorialization with VLP leadership, and visiting Alexandria National Cemetery and Quantico National Cemetery.