Crown Hill National Cemetery
Flag pole and burial area at Crown Hill National Cemetery.
Office Hours: Please contact Marion National Cemetery at the number listed above.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.
Crown Hill National Cemetery Columbarium is a new 15-acre Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) national cemetery located at 725 W. 42nd Street in Indianapolis, Indiana 46208. This cemetery will serve the needs of more than 250,000 Veterans and eligible family members within a 75-mile radius.
The columbarium expansion is the second project under the VA National Cemetery Administration's (NCA) Urban Initiative program. The program improves access to burial benefits in cities which are served by national cemeteries located more than 60 miles removed from the service area core. The first expansion project was completed at Los Angeles National Cemetery in 2019. Other columbarium-only cemeteries are slated for development in New York City, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Crown Hill National Cemetery Columbarium expansion will provide Veterans burial option inside the city of Indianapolis for the first time since the original Crown Hill National Cemetery closed to new interments in 1959. The original Crown Hill National Cemetery is located inside the boundaries of the privately owned Crown Hill Cemetery at 700 West 38th Street. It was established in 1866 and contains just over 2,000 gravesites. The nearest open VA national cemetery is Marion National Cemetery, which is approximately 75 miles away. The nearest state Veterans cemetery is Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison, IN, approximately 100 miles away.
The land was acquired by the VA in a swap with the privately-owned Crown Hill Cemetery in 2019.
The design-build contract was awarded to Nora Contracting, LLC in 2019. The company is based in Detroit, MI. Construction started in June 2021 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.
The First Phase build will have 3,424 niches and 372 memorial plaques and will accommodate the needs of more than 36,000 Veterans and eligible family members when all phases are completed.
Douglas Ledbetter, director of Dayton and Marion national cemeteries, will oversee the Crown Hill National Cemetery Columbarium. For more information, call Dayton National Cemetery at 937-268-2221.
Crown Hill National Cemetery is closed to new interments. The only interments that are being accepted are subsequent interments for veterans or eligible family members in an existing gravesite. Periodically however, burial space may become available due to a canceled reservation or when a disinterment has been completed. When either of these two scenarios occurs, the gravesite is made available to another eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
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.
This cemetery is located in the Northeast section of Indianapolis, Indiana, inside Crown Hill Cemetery. From Indianapolis Airport, take I-465 North to Exit 17 (38th Street). Turn right on 38th Street. The cemetery is located approximately 13 miles from the airport in the center of Indianapolis.
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.
For information on scheduled burials in our national cemeteries, please go to the Daily Burial Schedule.
This cemetery is under the supervision of Marion National Cemetery. Please contact them at the number listed above.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
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.
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.
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.
Crown Hill National Cemetery is located 2.8 miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis, Ind., within the private Crown Hill Cemetery. During the Civil War, Union soldiers who died while stationed at the various camps near Indianapolis and at local hospitals were originally buried at nearby Green Lawn Cemetery. However, concern over the limited acreage and poor maintenance of these facilities led the governor to request a national cemetery for the city. The Federal government purchased lots within the new Crown Hill Cemetery (established in 1863) and in 1866, the remains buried at Green Lawn were reinterred at Crown Hill in a ceremony attended by James A. Ekin, the deputy quartermaster general. Today, the private Crown Hill is notable as the third-largest non-government cemetery in America.
In addition to the Union soldiers, Confederate prisoners were buried at Crown Hill National Cemetery. During the Civil War there were typically more than 3,500 Confederates held prisoner at Camp Morton on the north side of Indianapolis. Originally, the principle mustering, recruiting, and encampment site for many Hoosier regiments. After the fall of Forts Donelson and Henry in early 1862, thousands of captured Confederates were sent north to POW camps such as Camp Morton (others included Camp Butler in Springfield, Ill.; Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio; and Camp Douglas in Chicago). About 15,000 prisoners occupied Camp Morton between 1862 and 1865. Typical of most prison facilities at that time, Camp Morton was unprepared for the large influx of prisoners. Medical care, food, and sanitary conditions were inadequate. Between 1862 and 1865, more than 1,700 Confederate deaths at Camp Morton resulted. Still, the death rates at Camp Morton were lower than most Northern prisons.
After it became the city's responsibility to find an acceptable burial ground for the Southern dead, a section of the Green Lawn cemetery was turned over to the government for burials. After the war, this land was sold to the railroad, and the remains removed to a mass grave in Section 32 of Crown Hill Cemetery. In 1989, two Indianapolis police officers initiated an effort to mark the graves of the Confederate POWs; other groups and individuals joined in, and in 1993 the new Confederate Memorial was dedicated. Crown Hill National Cemetery, including the national cemetery tract, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.