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United States national cemetery

Gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day 2006
Flags flying at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day 2006. The cemetery has flat markers, a practice which is used extensively in the new fields at this cemetery.
National Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee

"United States national cemetery" is a designation for 147 nationally important cemeteries in the United States. A national cemetery is generally a military cemetery containing the graves of U.S. military personnel, veterans and their spouses, but not exclusively so. There are also state veteran cemeteries.

The best known national cemetery is Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.

Some national cemeteries, especially Arlington, contain the graves of important civilian leaders and other important national figures. Some national cemeteries also contain sections for Confederate soldiers.

The National Cemetery Administration of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs maintains 131 of the 147 national cemeteries. The Department of the Army maintains two national cemeteries, Arlington National Cemetery and United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery. The National Park Service (NPS) maintains 14 cemeteries associated with historic sites and battlefields.

The American Battle Monuments Commission, an independent agency, maintains 24 American military cemeteries and other memorials outside of the United States.


  • History 1
  • List of United States national cemeteries 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes and references 4
  • External links 5


The first national cemeteries were set up after the United States Civil War by Edmund Burke Whitman.[1] Congress passed a law to establish and protect national cemeteries in 1867.[2]

Final military honors are provided for qualified veterans by several volunteer details known as a Memorial Honor Detail (MHD) upon request of family members through their choice of mortuaries handling the deceased's remains.

List of United States national cemeteries

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Edmund Whitman (1812–1873)". University of Michigan. Retrieved 2008-10-31. After the war Whitman became assistant quartermaster in charge of national cemeteries and mortuary records for the same district. Charged with inspecting cemeteries and battlefields, he located Union soldiers buried in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama. 
  2. ^ Chap. LXI. 14 Stat. 399 from "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U. S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875". Library of Congress, Law Library of Congress. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  3. ^ For information, see: NPS: Oakdale Cemetery Soldiers' Lot.
  4. ^ Most of the original burials were transferred to the Rock Island and Keokuk National Cemeteries.

External links

  • Department of Veteran's Affairs, National Cemetery Administration
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