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National Cemetery Administration


History: General History

History and Development of the National Cemetery
NCA's solemn mission originates with the Civil War. Today it is responsible for 155 national cemeteries, 34 soldiers' lots and 121 VA grant-funded state, territory and tribal Veterans cemeteries in the United States and its territories, as well as the provision of headstones and other memorial benefits to qualified Veterans.

Marietta National Cemetery in Georgia.

Dates of Establishment: National Cemeteries & NCA Burial Sites
A listing of VA National Cemeteries & NCA Burial Sites and their dates established.

Leadership: Directors & Under Secretaries for Memorial Affairs, 1973 to Present
Learn about the leaders who helped shape NCA.

History of Government-Furnished Headstones and Markers
The evolution of government headstones.

Landscapes of Honor & Sacrifice: The History of the National Cemeteries, 2003
A 30-minute video illustrating the rich history of the national cemeteries.

Memorial Day History
Memorial Day, a federal holiday held the last Monday in May, is the nation's foremost annual day to mourn and honor its deceased service men and women. Originally called Decoration Day, it was formalized by a "Memorial Day Order" issued by Grand Army of the Republic Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan in 1868. The modern proclamation calls on Americans "to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace."

» Read the "Memorial Day Order" issued by GAR Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan in 1868.

Decoration Day postcard, ca. 1910. (NCA History Collection)Decoration Day postcard, ca. 1910. (NCA History Collection)