The Nashville National Cemetery in Madison, Tenn., was established in July, 1866; with most of the land acquired shortly after the Civil War. The original interments were the remains of soldiers removed from temporary burial grounds around Nashville’s general hospitals, as well as the Civil War battlefields at Franklin and Gallatin, Tenn., and Bowling Green and Cave City, Ky. There are 4,141 unknowns interred at Nashville National Cemetery.
The stone wall around the cemetery and the limestone archway at the entrance were both constructed in 1870. The present lodge, the third constructed at the cemetery, was built near the site of the original lodge and was completed in 1931. Nashville National Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Act of 1988 elevated the administration into the Cabinet-level department we know today. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Oct. 25, 1988, and came into effect under the term of President George H.W. Bush on March 15, 1989.
Fulfilling that sacred trust is the mission is of today’s VA and its nearly 340,000 employees, approximately 32 percent of whom are Veterans themselves.
To highlight our 25 years of service to Veterans, their families and survivors as the Department of Veterans Affairs, we’re sharing 25 facts you may not know about VA. Read more about the first five here. Here are facts 6-10:
- More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s cemeteries on more than 20,000 acres of land. On Nov. 11, 1998, the Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-368) was signed into law, officially re-designating the National Cemetery System as the National Cemetery Administration and authorizes 100 percent funding for VA State Cemetery Grants Program. From 1992 to 2013, VA opened 20 new National Cemeteries, part of the “biggest expansion since the Civil War.”
- In each of the last four years, VA has processed more than 1 million disability compensation and pension claims – more than ever before. At the same time, we’ve increased decision quality. Veterans, their families and survivors received $227.5 billion for compensation and pension benefits over that 4-year period.
- VA’s telemedicine program and the Community-Based Outpatient Clinic program began in 1997, expanding Veterans’ access to earned care and services.
- The 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games were held in Tampa in 2013. Attracting more than 500 athletes each year, the NVWG is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world.
- In 1994, groundbreaking VA research demonstrated that one aspirin tablet a day reduced by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart attacks in patients with unstable angina.