National Cemetery Administration
Georgia National Cemetery
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays.
Visitation Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
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.
Directions from I-75: Take exit 290 (Highway 20) toward Canton (east). Travel 12 miles, turn left into cemetery entrance located near Knox Bridge.
Directions from I-575: Take exit 16, go left at the overpass and follow the signs to GA Highway 20. Turn left (west) on to GA Highway 20 for approximately six miles, cross the Knox Bridge and the cemetery entrance is on the right.
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.
Mailing address for Georgia National Cemetery:
2025 Mount Carmel Church Lane
Canton, GA 30114
The Georgia National Cemetery opened for burials on April 24, 2006.
The new 775-acre national cemetery in western Cherokee County, Ga., will serve veterans for the next 50 years.
The property on which the cemetery rests was donated by Scott Hudgens, the late Atlanta World War II veteran, land developer and philanthropist. The site lies midway between Cartersville and Canton, near the Etowah River, offering views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Allatoona.
J. M. Wilkerson Construction Company, Inc., of Marietta, Ga., was awarded the construction contract in December 2004. In addition to an entrance area, an information center, administration and maintenance building, public restrooms, flag plaza, shelters for committal services, the project includes a total of 33,000 full-casket gravesites, 3,000 in-ground sites for cremation remains and 3,000 columbaria niches for cremation remains.
Burial arrangements will be made after death, as with all national cemeteries. VA does not reserve grave space. Veterans or spouses wishing to be buried in national cemeteries should have the veteran’s military separation papers available to establish eligibility, which requires an other-than-dishonorable discharge. Dependent children may also be buried.
For educational materials and additional information on this cemetery, please visit the Education section, located below.
Floral arrangements accompanying the casket or urn at the time of burial will be placed as follows, a maximum of three will be placed on the grave and the remainder will be placed at a central location.
Fresh 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. Floral cones are available near each burial section at the water station.
Artificial flowers will be permitted only between Nov. 10 and March 1. Potted plants will be permitted on graves only for a period extending 10 days before through 10 days after Easter Sunday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and other seasonal adornments may be placed on graves from Dec. 15 through Jan. 10. 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.
Columbarium Floral Regulations
Fresh cut flowers may be placed in the floral cones provided. The cones are to be placed in the gravel area surrounding the columbarium. Flowers will be removed when they become withered, faded or otherwise unsightly.
Artificial flowers are permitted during the period of Nov. 10 through March 1.
Potted plants, permanent planting, statues and upright stands are not permitted. At no time will flowers or other objects to be placed on the columbarium top or attached to the niche covers.
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.
Georgia National Cemetery is the second national cemetery in Georgia and the 123rd in the national cemetery system. A private citizen donated the 775-acre site to the National Cemetery Administration in 2001. At maximum capacity, 330 acres of the site will be developed for burials; the remainder of the site is too steep to be used for interments. Historically, the site was used for logging purposes and as a hunting ground for local residents.
Georgia National Cemetery is located near the site of the Etowah burial mounds, created by American Indians of the Mississippian culture between AD 1000-1550. This site is one of the largest American Indian burial mounds in North America. Archaeological investigations have been conducted on Etowah mounds for over one hundred years.
Georgia National Cemetery opened for burials in 2006, and was formally dedicated on June 4 of that year.
Joseph "Max" Cleland (1942–2021) was born in Atlanta, Georgia on August 24, 1942. He was an outstanding student athlete who was drawn to public service. He earned a B.A. from Stetson university and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army through its ROTC program. He earned an M.A. in history from Emory University. Cleland volunteered for service during the height of the Vietnam War in 1967. He lost both legs and his right arm when a grenade detonated beside him during a mission near Khe Sanh in April 1968. Cleland overcame his physical and mental wounds. He was elected as the youngest member of the Georgia senate in 1970 at age 34. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to head the Veterans Administration in 1977. Addressing Veteran's mental health was a key focus of his tenure. Cleland became Georgia's Secretary of State in 1982 and held that office for 12 years. He was elected to the U.S. Senate (Ga.-D) in 1996 and served one term. He was appointed to the 9-11 Commission in 2002. In 2009 President Barack Obama appointed him Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery in 2010. Cleland's career was devoted to Veterans issues and honoring their memory. He was instrumental in bringing Georgia National Cemetery to the state after Marietta closed to burials in the 1970s. He died November 9 and is interred in Section 6, Site 132, beside his father (a WWII Navy veteran) and mother.
Lonnie C. King, Jr. (1936–2019) was born in Georgia and spent his childhood with his grandfather, who was a sharecropper, circuit preacher, and member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. King then went to Atlanta and lived among the city's black institutions, such as Ebenezer Baptist, where Martin Luther King Sr. was the pastor, and the Butler Street YMCA. He served in the U.S. Navy, 1954–1957, and afterward returned to Atlanta and graduated from Morehouse College. By 1960 he was leading peaceful demonstrations and organizing sit-ins in local restaurants to end segregation in the city. He was a force behind the March 9, 1960, "Appeal for Human Rights," and remained a civil rights advocate throughout his life. King died March 5 and is buried in Georgia National Cemetery, Section 2, Site 1755.
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.