Fort Lawton Post Cemetery
NCA marks 50 years (1973-2023) of serving America's Veterans, Service Members, and Families.
Learn more and watch NCA's 50th Anniversary Ceremony.
View of cemetery at Fort Lawton Post.
Office Hours: Contact Tahoma National Cemetery at (425) 413-9614 for information.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Fort Lawton Post 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. If burial space is available at the time of request, the cemetery will assign these gravesites to eligible Veterans or family members. 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 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, get on WA-518 W from Airport Expressway. Continue for 2.3 miles. Take WA-509 N and Why 99 N to Aurora Ave N for 12.4 miles. Turn right onto Halladay Street; turn right onto 6th Ave N; turn left onto Dexter Ave N; turn left on Nickerson St; turn left onto W Emerson St; turn right onto Gilman Ave W; continue onto W Government Way; continue onto Discovery Park Way.
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.
The Fort Lawton Post Cemetery (FLPC) is located in the city of Seattle, WA in King County. The Fort Lawton Post Cemetery is approximately 3 acres in size and situated on the West Point Peninsula in Seattle, between Texas Way and Discovery Park Boulevard. Located in a wooded area, the FLPC is bordered by Discovery Park to the west and south and the Magnolia neighborhood (residential) to the east.
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.
Pets are not allowed in Cemetery. (Trained service dogs only.)
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 will be permitted on graves during periods when their presence will not interfere with grounds maintenance. As a general rule, artificial flowers 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.
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.
In 1896, the Secretary of War selected what would later be Fort Lawton for construction of an artillery battery intended to defend Seattle and the south Puget Sound from naval attack. Local citizens and governments donated 703 acres land to the United States Army for the installation the next year.
Fort Lawton was named after Maj. Gen. Henry Ware Lawton (1843 - 1899), a veteran of the American Civil War, the Indian Wars, and Spanish–American War campaigns, who was killed in action in the Philippines. Lawton, OK, home of U.S. Army Fort Sill is also named after Maj. Gen. Lawton.
On October 5, 1909 the United States Army's 25th Infantry Regiment which primarily consisted of African American soldiers transferred from the Philippines to Fort Lawton. These men are known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
During World War II, at least 20,000 troops at a time were stationed at Fort Lawton, with more than 1 million troops passing through both before and after the war. It was the second-largest port of embarkation for US forces and materiel to the Pacific Theater during the war.
The post was also used as a prisoner-of-war camp, with more than 1,000 Germans imprisoned there. Approximately 5,000 Italians were passed through en route to Hawaii for imprisonment. On August 15, 1944 an Italian POW, Guglielmo Olivotto, was found murdered at Fort Lawton after a night of rioting between Italian POWs and American soldiers. Twenty-eight African-American soldiers were later court-martialed, convicted of the crime, and sent to prison. They and their families challenged the convictions; after an investigation, the convictions were set aside in 2007.
Fort Lawton Post Cemetery likely was established around 1900. The cemetery is set out in four quadrants. Two former post commanders - Brig. Gen. Frederick Atkinson (1949) and Col. John Barber (1960s) are interred at Fort Lawton Post Cemetery. The cemetery also contains the graves of an unknown soldier and two World War II era prisoners of war. Above mentioned Guglielmo Olivotto and German soldier Albert Marquardt, who died of accidental poisoning in 1945 are interred in gravesites on the perimeter of the cemetery.
COL William Wallace Robinson
Civil War Commander of the 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry of the Iron Brigade (Section 3, Site 15)
We are developing educational content for this national cemetery, and will post new materials as they become available. Visit the Veterans Legacy Program and NCA History Program for additional information. Thank you for your interest.