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National Cemetery Administration


Replacement Headstones and Markers

Headstones and markers previously furnished by the Government may be replaced at Government expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized. We may also replace the new (or modern) headstone or marker if the inscription is incorrect, if it was damaged during shipping, or if the material or workmanship does not meet contract specifications. In cases where the primary-source documentation indicates that it is "more likely than not" that an existing inscription (e.g., name, date of birth, date of death, branch of service, etc.) on a historic headstone or marker (those greater than 50 years of age) is inaccurate, we will correct the inscription error and replace the marker "in kind," that is, with one that has the same type, style, and inscription elements that were used or available at the time of the decedent's death.

If a Government headstone or marker in a private cemetery is damaged by cemetery personnel, the cemetery should pay all replacement costs.

Marble and granite headstones or markers that are permanently removed from a grave must be destroyed, ensuring that the inscription is no longer legible. Bronze markers must be returned to the contractor.

For guidance on obtaining a replacement headstone or marker, you may call the Memorial Products Service Applicant Assistance Unit between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, at the toll-free number below:


Or click on the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page to contact the office via e-mail. Be sure to include the Veteran’s name, social security and/or service number, and date of death.