NCA Announces Groundbreaking for American Indian Veterans Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery - National Cemetery Administration
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NCA Announces Groundbreaking for American Indian Veterans Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery

August 26, 2020

NCA Announces Groundbreaking for American Indian Veterans Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery; Unveils New Interpretive Sign

WASHINGTON — VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves, the head of the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), today signed a memorandum of agreement with the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee formally accepting the donation of the American Indian Veterans Memorial at Riverside National Cemetery.

Groundbreaking for the memorial and surrounding plaza will be on September 25th, which is Native American Day in California. It will be the first major monument honoring U.S. indigenous Veterans located at a VA national cemetery. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie is expected to attend the groundbreaking.

"This memorial and plaza will grant recognition to our Native American patriots, a group who have served this country at a higher rate than any other," said Reeves. "The National Cemetery Administration is grateful for the generosity of Riverside National Cemetery's support committee in proposing and funding this most-fitting tribute."

Reeves followed the signing ceremony with the unveiling of another "first" for the NCA – the first installation of an interpretive sign explaining the significance of President Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address to the present-day Veteran's Administration. Across the country at Camp Butler National Cemetery, located near Lincoln's home in Springfield, Ill., VA Secretary Robert Wilkie unveiled an identical sign.

The signs highlight the closing paragraph of Lincoln's famous speech, delivered during the final days of the Civil War and only weeks before the President's assassination.

His words inspired the nation to care for the war's Veterans and their families, as well as the Veterans of subsequent wars. The installation of the interpretive educational signs provides VA an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the public's understanding of the VA's purpose and commitment to all who served our Nation. Within the next year, NCA intends to install identical signs in each of its cemeteries.

For more information, contact Riverside National Cemetery Executive Director Peter Young at 951-653-8417, or visit www.facebook.com/NatCemRiverside.