National cemetery to be built at Fort Jackson
Construction crews clear land for Phase 1A of the Fort Jackson National Cemetery. Veterans Affairs officials estimate the first burials will take place in November.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Army News Service, Aug. 1, 2008) - A new national cemetery, which will be adjacent to Fort Jackson, is scheduled to open in the fall and will be named the "Fort Jackson National Cemetery."

Columbia, S.C., is one of four sites nationwide where national cemeteries are being built and the land for the 585-acre facility was donated by Fort Jackson

"(The) VA is keeping its promise to our nation's veterans by building this new shrine, said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "The Columbia area deserves a magnificent, lasting tribute to the service of its military veterans."

Construction began earlier this month, according to the cemetery's director, Gene Linxwiler. He expects the first burials to take place beginning in November. VA officials are planning an official dedication ceremony this fall, but the exact date has not yet been selected.

Construction will take place in several phases, and the first has two parts (Phase 1A and 1B). Phase 1A, currently under construction, will consist of 1,400 full-casket graves and 1,100 in-ground sites for cremated remains. The cost for Phase 1A is $2.53 million. The VA has budgeted about $19 million for the entire site.

In mid-2009, work is scheduled to begin on the 68 acres of Phase 1B.

When completed, the first two phases will have room for 5,000 full gravesites, 4,200 pre-placed crypts, 5,000 in-ground cremation sites and 2,000 indoor cremation burial sites.

An administration and public information facility, maintenance facility, two committal shelters for interment ceremonies, a flag/assembly area, and supporting infrastructure, including utilities and irrigation, will also be included.

A complete list of who is eligible for burial in a national cemetery can be found on the burial and memorials page of the VA Web site at <a href="http://www.cem.va.gov"target=_blank>
www.cem.va.gov</a>.

For more information about the Fort Jackson National Cemetery, call the cemetery staff at (866) 577-5248.

To make burial arrangements, call the national scheduling office at (800) 535-1117.

(Mike A. Glasch writes for the Fort Jackson "Leader.")

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16