The National Cemetery Administration is overseen by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. This agency is responsible for maintaining more than 130 national gravesites in 39 different states as well as the territory of Puerto Rico. While these gravesites have typically received only intact remains, many of them are now expanding to include cremated ashes. In addition, several national cemeteries around the country have decided to accept only ashes.
Three Tennessee locations accept ashes exclusively: the Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis national cemeteries. Those who are interested in disposing of a loved one’s ashes in one of these Tennessee cemeteries can arrange to do so with the National Cemetery Scheduling Office.
New York currently has two national cemeteries that accept only cremated remains. One is Long Island National Cemetery, which is located in Farmingdale. This cemetery contains a columbarium for the placement of ashes. Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira also contains a columbarium. This location will accept intact remains of those buried in the same gravesite as their previously interred loved ones.
The only open national cemetery in New Jersey is Finn’s Point, and it also accepts only ashes. The Washington Crossing National Cemetery is responsible for overseeing activity at this location. Casketed remains can be accommodated as long as they are being placed in an existing grave site along with a previously deceased family member.
Other cemeteries that are accepting only ashes include Prescott National Cemetery in Arizona, Bay Pines National Cemetery in Florida, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific found in Hawaii, and Alton National Cemetery in Illinois. Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia also have national cemeteries that exclusively house cremated remains.
As veteran’s cremation increases in popularity, it’s likely that more national cemeteries will accept only ashes in the near future. The National Cemetery Association acquires land for new cemeteries from time to time, and many of them could just wind up housing the cremated remains of our veterans exclusively.
If you have any questions about interring a veteran’s remains, please contact Heartland Cremation. Heartland Cremation has four generations of experience in cremation and funeral care, and serves the greater Kansas City region, including Columbia, Boonville, Macon, and Jefferson City, Missouri. Please contact us today to learn more about the cremation services we can provide for your loved one.