Danville National Cemetery, IL
The Soldiers Monument at Danville National Cemetery.
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.
Visitation Hours: Open daily during daylight hours.
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.
Vermilion County Airport on Bowman Avenue Road is approximately 10 miles from the cemetery. Travel south on Bowman Avenue Road (which changes to Bowman Avenue). Turn left on East Main Street. At the third traffic light, which is at the entrance of the VA Illiana Health Care System, turn right. Follow the signs directing you to the cemetery. The cemetery is located on the east side of the campus.
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.
Military Funeral Honors
Local veterans organizations provide military honors. Please contact the cemetery office for further information.
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. 15 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 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.
Danville National Cemetery is located in Vermilion County, Ill., at the eastern side of the VA Illiana Health Care System. This area once belonged to the Miami, Kickapoo and Pottowatomie tribes of the Algonquin Indians. Salt deposits located on the Vermilion River attracted a variety of wildlife that served as a constant food supply for the local Native Americans; they later attracted the first white settlers to the region. In 1818, the Kickapoo ceded a large area of land to the federal government, including what is now Vermilion County. In the mid-1800s, coal miners settled in the Danville area, and soon the region ranked as Illinois’ top coal producer. From 1841 to 1859, Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Danville; in 1852, he established a law practice with Ward Lamon. This was Lincoln’s only permanent law office in the Illinois circuit.
Although no Civil War battles occurred here, many men from Danville volunteered for the Union. The men who returned home were often sick, wounded or disabled. In 1897, Congress authorized the establishment of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Danville. The next year, a small plot of land was set aside as a burial site; it was subsequently designated a national cemetery in 1898. In 1901, the present cemetery was plotted and the remains of those buried in the old cemetery were reinterred at the new site.
In 1930, the Soldiers Home was transferred to the Veterans Administration (VA), and the cemetery became part of the VA Cemetery System. An internal study of the VA Cemetery System in 1948 recommended that the cemetery be transferred to the Department of the Army. No action was taken, however, and in 1973 when the National Cemetery System was reassigned from the Department of the Army to the Veterans Administration, it was merged into the National Cemetery System. Danville National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Monuments and Memorials
The Soldiers Monument at Danville National Cemetery was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1917. The monument consists of a granite base topped by a bronze life-sized figure depicting a young Civil War soldier holding his musket. Clark Noble was the sculptor.
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:
Lieutenant Morton A. Read (Civil War). He received the Medal of Honor while serving in the U.S. Army, Company D, 8th New York Cavalry, for actions at Appomattox Station, Virginia, April 8, 1865. Read died in 1921 and is buried in Section 10, Site 3033.
Unknown Soldier interred in section 2, gravesite 274, date of death August 15, 1903.