Never Forget

Facts About the National Cemetery Administration



The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service to our Nation.


NCA currently maintains more than 2.9 million gravesites at 130 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites.

Approximately 295,600 full-casket gravesites, 90,200 in-ground gravesites for cremated remains, and 75,200 columbarium niches are available in already developed acreage in our 128 national cemeteries.

There are close to 19,000 acres within established installations in NCA. Nearly half are undeveloped and—with available gravesites in developed acreage—have the potential to provide approximately 4.7 million gravesites.

Of the 130 national cemeteries, 70 are open to all interments; 20 can accommodate cremated remains and the remains of family members for interment in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member; and 40 will perform only interments of family members in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member.

Since 1973, annual interments in VA national cemeteries have increased by more than 184 percent, from 36,400 to nearly 103,300 in fiscal year 2008. Interments are expected to increase annually until the year 2013.

Of the 103,300 interments conducted in fiscal year 2008, 68.9 percent were in the 20 busiest national cemeteries: Riverside, Calif.; Florida; Calverton, N.Y.; Fort Snelling, Minn..; Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; Willamette, Ore.; Fort Logan, Colo.; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas; National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona; Houston, Texas; Tahoma, Wash.; Fort Rosecrans, Calif.; Abraham Lincoln, Ill.; Massachusetts; Great Lakes, Mich.; Ohio Western Reserve; Long Island, N.Y.; Indiantown Gap, Pa.; and Sacramento Valley, Calif.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, 7 national cemeteries each contained more than 100,000 occupied gravesites, collectively accounting for 37 percent of all NCA gravesites maintained: Long Island, N.Y.; Calverton, N.Y.; Riverside, Calif.; Fort Snelling, Minn.; Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; Golden Gate, Calif.; Willamette, Ore.

Largest National Cemetery: Calverton, N.Y. 1,045 acres.

Smallest National Cemetery: Hampton VAMC, Va. 0.03 acres. • Oldest National Cemetery: 14 established in 1862 (12 are currently maintained by VA).

Newest National Cemetery: Bakersfield National Cemetery, opened July 1, 2009. • Since 1973, NCA has furnished more than 10.3 million headstones and markers. In fiscal year 2008, NCA furnished more than 361,200 headstones and markers.

NCA provided more than 511,300 Presidential Memorial Certificates to the loved ones of deceased Veterans in fiscal year 2008. Since 1988, NCA has provided 6.8 million Presidential Memorial Certificates.

Since 1980, NCA’s State Cemetery Grants Program has obligated more than $353 million to 38 states and territories for the establishment, expansion, or improvement of 74 state Veterans cemeteries. In fiscal year 2008, NCA-supported state cemeteries provided approximately 25,000 interments.

Volunteers donated approximately 482,000 hours at national cemeteries during fiscal year 2008.

Approximately 7.7 million people visited VA national cemeteries in fiscal year 2008.

In 1999 and 2003, Congress passed two laws directing VA to establish 12 new national cemeteries. NCA opened 11 of those cemeteries: Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma (opened November 2001); National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania (opened August 2005); Georgia National Cemetery (opened April 2006); Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in California (opened October 2006); Great Lakes National Cemetery in Michigan (opened October 2005); South Florida National Cemetery (opened April 2007); Fort Jackson National Cemetery in South Carolina (opened January 2009); Jacksonville National Cemetery in Florida (opened January 2009); Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida (opened January 2009); Alabama National Cemetery (opened June 2009); and Bakersfield National Cemetery in California (opened July 2009). The opening for Washington Crossing National Cemetery located in Bucks County, Pa., is scheduled for fall of 2009.


VA estimates that 654,000 Veterans in the U.S. and Puerto Rico died in 2008. Approximately 13 percent of U.S. Veterans chose to be buried in a national or state Veterans cemetery in FY 2008. As new national and state Veterans cemeteries open, this percentage is expected to increase.

July 2009

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