The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues a proud legacy as we break ground and dedicate Tallahassee National Cemetery Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. The event signifies our nation’s on-going commitment to care, in perpetuity, for the men and women who served with distinction in the U.S. armed forces.

In President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he said, “from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” During the ceremony, Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, Ronald E. Walters will renew President Lincoln’s pledge to honor the unbroken line of American citizens who served and sacrificed in defense of our nation. It is a pledge the current and future employees of Tallahassee National Cemetery will renew daily as they provide each Veteran’s final benefit with the full dignity and solemnity that befits great service to our country.

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The initial phase of construction will develop 40 acres of the 250-acre cemetery on U.S. Highway 27 (Apalachee Parkway.) This first phase will include 6,000 gravesites, accommodating both casket and cremain interments, an administration and maintenance building, a flagpole assembly area, a memorial walkway, committal shelters and a public information center. There are more than 83,000 Veterans in Tallahassee and surrounding areas. The cemetery will serve these Veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents, over the next 100 years.

When complete, Tallahassee National Cemetery will emerge as a national shrine and a centerpiece for the community. It will serve as a gathering place on special occasions, especially Memorial Day, to pay tribute to the brave men and women who served our country during times of war and peace.

The cemetery will also be a focal point for greater volunteerism in the community. Veterans and non-Veterans, civic groups and youth organizations will contribute toward fulfilling our nation’s final promise to maintain this cemetery as a national shrine.

The opportunity to honor the service of Veterans is a sacred trust – a part of VA’s historic mission, found in the words of President Lincoln, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.” I am indebted to the Veterans and civic groups that have been a vital part of our efforts to date. With strong partnerships forged in the community, we are honored to host this dedication ceremony. Please join us as we break ground and dedicate this sacred place to honor and remember our nation’s Veterans and their families.

The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public. Parking is restricted at the event site. Visit www.cem.va.gov for more information on the cemetery and attending the ceremony.


RaymondMillerRaymond L. Miller is the Director of Tallahassee National Cemetery in Florida. He has been with the National Cemetery Administration since 2006. Raymond is a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

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Published on May. 18, 2015

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