Philadelphia National Cemetery
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Burial area at Philadelphia National Cemetery.
Philadelphia 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.
» Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery
From Philadelphia International Airport, take Interstate Highway 95 North to Route 76 West to Route 1 North to Broad Street West, exit on Haines to Limekiln. The cemetery is on the corner of Haines and Limekiln.
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 managed by the Director of the Washington Crossing National Cemetery. The mailing address is 830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940.
Military Funeral Honors
Military Funeral Honors can be arranged by the funeral director or representative from Washington Crossing National Cemetery if requested by the family.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
You can place fresh cut flowers on your loved one's grave throughout the year.
Floral items will be removed from graves when they become faded or unsightly. They may also be removed to allow mowing. Government supplied plastic flower containers are available for your use and located within the cemetery.
You can place artificial flowers on graves from November 1st through April 1st. Artificial flowers are also allowed five days prior to Memorial Day. They will be removed five days after the holiday.
From December 1st through January 10th, holiday wreaths less than 18 inches in diameter and no higher than the headstone and grave blankets that are less than 2 feet by 3 feet may be placed on graves. Holiday wreaths and grave blankets will be removed after January 20.
To preserve the dignity and appearance of your loved one's final resting place, the following items aren't allowed at headstones or columbariums:
- Alcoholic products
- Balloons, candles, or vigil lights
- Decorative and breakable glass, plastic items, or objects
- Non-government supplied floral containers (pots, planters, glass vase, etc.)
- Objects such as rocks or other durable items, beads or wires that when mowing or performing maintenance could become projectiles or become entangled in equipment that may cause injury
- Offensive items or those deemed contrary to honoring Veterans
- Permanent in-ground plantings
- Pinwheels or windchimes
- Statues or stuffed animals
- Weapons of any kind, explosives, or ammunition
- Floral items or decorations may not be secured to headstones.
- In-ground floral containers may not be placed in new cemeteries or new sections of national cemeteries.
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.
Philadelphia National Cemetery is located in Philadelphia County, PA, two miles north of Germantown in the city of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia National Cemetery was one of 14 national cemeteries established in 1862, and it was one of several established near large troop-recruitment and training areas. In its first year, the cemetery was composed of burial lots in seven different locations that were either donated to or purchased by the federal government. These were intended to be used specifically for soldiers who died in one of the many hospitals in the Philadelphia area. In 1885, the United States purchased a little over 13 acres from Henry J. and Susan B. Freeman to concentrate the scattered remains of soldiers into one geographic location. The remains were disinterred and consolidated at this location, occupied by Philadelphia National Cemetery today.
Philadelphia National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Monuments and Memorials
The Mexican War Monument is a marble obelisk that was erected by the Scott Legion in honor of 38 men who served and died in that conflict. The men were originally buried at Glenwood Cemetery and were re-interred at Philadelphia National Cemetery in 1927. The date of dedication is unknown.
The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument was erected by the United States in 1911. The monument is a rusticated granite monument that commemorates 184 Confederate soldiers and sailors whose remains were re-interred at the cemetery from other locations after the Civil War.
The Revolutionary War Memorial is a granite and bronze memorial that commemorates those who died in the Revolutionary War.
Medal of Honor Recipients
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the president on behalf of Congress. It was first awarded during the Civil War and eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor have changed over time.
Recipients buried or memorialized here:
Seaman Alphonse Girandy. Alphonse Girandy was born in the French West Indies and he immigrated to the United States. In 1896 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received naturalized citizenship. Seaman Girandy served on the USS Brooklyn during his first tour, and in 1899 he re-enlisted. Between 1900 and 1904 Girandy was on the USS Petrel when, in 1901, the ship caught fire. His actions, "fearlessly exposing own life to danger for the saving of others," were recognized in March 1902 when Girandy received the Medal of Honor. As a civilian, he lived in Philadelphia, where he died on April 3, 1941. He is buried in Section N, Site 66.
Major General Galusha Pennypacker (Civil War). Pennypacker received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, for actions at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January 15, 1865. Pennypacker died in 1916 and is buried in Section OFF, Site 175.
Sixty-six Buffalo Soldiers.