Construction to Begin on Great Lakes National Cemetery
September 18, 2004
Fulfilling a commitment to Michigan veterans, the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a $8.7 million contract to a local
small business to begin work on the Great Lakes National Cemetery
in Oakland County, Mich.
"As promised, we're moving forward to meet the burial needs of
Detroit-area veterans and their families well into the future,"
said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi.
Edge Construction of Southfield, Mich., a small business construction
company, received the contract to begin work on the new national
cemetery, which is 45 miles northwest of Detroit.
When the first phase of construction is completed, the 50-acre
site will contain 6,500 full-casket gravesites, consisting of 5,200
pre-placed crypts and 1,300 traditional full casket gravesites,
plus a 1,768 unit columbarium and 1,450 sites for in-ground cremated
The new cemetery will also include temporary administration and
maintenance offices (to be replaced by a permanent structure in
the second construction phase), two committal service shelters,
a public information center with electronic gravesite locator and
public restrooms, a cemetery entrance area, flag assembly area,
memorial walkway and infrastructure elements including roadways,
landscaping, utilities and irrigation.
Construction is estimated to begin in a few weeks and burials are
expected to begin in mid-2005 in a burial area within the construction
area. This option allows for burials to begin during construction
of the cemetery.
The second phase of the construction project, planned to begin
in 2007, will replace the temporary offices with permanent structures
and prepare for 10 additional years worth of gravesites.
Veterans with a discharge other than dishonorable, their spouses
and dependent children are eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Other burial benefits for eligible veterans include a burial flag,
Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or
marker - even if they are not buried in a national cemetery.
In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates
cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, 33 soldiers' lots and
monument sites. More than three million Americans - including veterans
of every war and conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the current
war in Iraq - are buried in VA's national cemeteries. VA also provides
grants to states to build new or expand existing state veterans'
cemeteries to complement national cemeteries.
Information on the Great Lakes National Cemetery is available by
calling (810) 695-2007.
Source: Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration