State and local leaders join VA Secretary at Cheyenne National Cemetery dedication ceremony
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs held a ceremony where it dedicated the state’s first national cemetery.
“Any time we can bring to a community, a place where they can remember, a place where veterans can come and be reunited with those that they served with, that’s a special time,” said VA Secretary, Robert Wilkie.
As the seeds for the Cheyenne National Cemetery were planted Thursday, Gov. Mark Gordon is excited to see it grow.
“Here it is at the arboretum where people plant trees to see them grow, and we are recognizing the people who defend our nation where people came to see liberty grow,” said Gordon.
Gordon, Rep. Liz Cheney, Mayor Marian Orr, local veterans and active duty military members joined members of the Department of Veterans Affairs at the ceremony. Until now, the only veterans cemetery was the Oregon Trail Veterans Cemetery in Evansville. The Cheyenne National Cemetery will serve thousands of veterans and their families.
“I know this will make sure that we honor and remember the sacrifices of our veterans and their families into perpetuity,” said Cheney.
In a first for more than 15,000 veterans, they will also now have the option for a VA burial. The opening of Cheyenne National Cemetery is part of the VA’s Rural Initiative program. The program has brought cemeteries to rural areas in Idaho, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
According to the VA press release it said the first phase of construction will make space for 1,600 interments. The press release said at full capacity, the cemetery should be able to accommodate just over 7,000 increments. The press release also noted that the just over five acre cemetery “is expected to serve a population of more than 55,000 veterans, their spouses and eligible children within a 75 mile radius of Cheyenne.”
The Cheyenne National Cemetery is located at 8611 Hildreth Road. For more information about Cheyenne National Cemetery, you can visit the National Cemetery Administration’s website here. You can also call (800)-535-1117.
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