History: General History - National Cemetery Administration
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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, 118 state and tribal cemeteries and 34 soldiers lots in the United States and its territories, as well as the provision of headstones and other memorial benefits to qualified Veterans.

Marietta National Cemetery, GA

Dates of the Cemeteries
A listing of VA National Cemeteries and their dates established and first burial.

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 Order"
Annual recognition originally called Decoration Day, by GAR Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan in 1868.

"Bivouac of the Dead"
Stanzas from Theodore O'Hara's elegiac poem, "Bivouac of the Dead," have appeared in national cemeteries since the 1880s. The Mexican War inspired the poem, but the Civil War endeared it to Americans. The poem is still a significant feature in NCA cemeteries and new tablets installed as cemeteries open.

Stanzas from Theodore O'Hara's elegiac poem, 'Bivouac of the Dead,' have appeared in national cemeteries since the 1880s. The Mexican War inspired the poem, but the Civil War endeared it to Americans. The poem is still a significant feature in NCA cemeteries and new tablets installed as cemeteries open.