WNY National Veterans Cemetery Now Set to Open Next Year

Crews are moving earth to provide 96,000 plots for veterans

Tom Puckett
November 11, 2019 - 4:00 am
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Pembroke, NY (WBEN) Five years after land was bought for the Western New York National Veterans Cemetery, it is set to open one year from now.

William Joyce, director of veterans services for Genesee County says delays have come in part because of the bidding process. "The bids came in too high, then they had to resubmit the bids. They were recently approved to a contractor out of Seneca County," says Joyce.

Joyce says there should be enough burial space for 96,000 veterans. "The original plan was for a columbarium for cremated remains, and now with the lack of funds, they had to cut back on the columbarium and the fencing," notes Joyce. "Now there will be 2,500 vaults in the ground for normal burials and cremains inground.'

Joyce says some families have had concerns, but understand this is a government affair, with a lot of goals to accomplish.

One other concern was for the honor guard. "Eventually, there will be a structure for the honor guard to rest and change. The funding is just not there, and they'll made do with they have," says Joyce.

For families who want to bury their loved one for a national cemetery burial, Joyce says there are no reserved spots, but the process is simple. "There's an application they can fill out so when they need the funeral service, they give this to the funeral director showing they're already authorized for cemetery burial there," explains Joyce.

Crews are already moving earth to get the cemetery ready in Pembroke. 

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