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VA Names New National Cemetery near Pittsburgh

December 4, 2004

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has named the national cemetery being constructed near Pittsburgh the "National Cemetery of the Alleghenies."

The 292-acre site is approximately 35 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. When the cemetery opens in mid-2005, it will provide burial options to approximately 329,000 veterans and their families living within 75 miles of the site.

"The new National Cemetery of the Alleghenies will help VA meet the needs of veterans in the greater Pittsburgh area well into the future," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi.

The cemetery’s 80-acre initial construction phase will contain 15,000 gravesites, plus a 3,000-unit columbarium and 1,000 sites for in-ground cremated remains. The new cemetery will also include an administration and maintenance complex, two committal service shelters, a public information center with electronic gravesite locator and public restrooms, a cemetery entrance area, a flag assembly area, a memorial walkway and donations area, and infrastructure elements including roadways, landscaping, utilities and irrigation.

Construction has begun and burials are expected to start in mid-2005 in a small section during construction. The cemetery staff will work initially from a temporary office and committal service shelter until the construction project is completed.

The only open national cemetery in Pennsylvania is Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, located approximately 215 miles east of Pittsburgh in Annville. VA plans to open another national cemetery in 2008 in the Philadelphia area.

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, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker – even if they are not buried in a national cemetery.

Information on the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies is available by calling the VA Memorial Service Network in Philadelphia at (215) 381-3787.

Source: Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration

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