2009 National Cemeteries Visited
by Flowers for Heroes
July 4, 2009 – Independence Day Gettysburg National Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Flowers for Heroes hosted their inaugural flower placement event at this beautiful memorial to the soldiers of our Civil War. Over 500 people from the surrounding communities gathered on this Independence Day to pay tribute to some of America’s earliest patriots.
History: Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, with the support of Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, the site for Soldiers National Cemetery was purchased and Union dead were moved from shallow and inadequate burial sites on the battlefield to the cemetery. It is currently administered by the National Park Service as part of Gettysburg National Military Park and contains the remains of over 6,000 individuals who served in a number of American wars, from the Mexican-American War to the present day. 3,512 Union soldiers were buried in the cemetery; of these, 979 are unknown.
November 11, 2009 – Veterans Day Located in Elwood, Illinois, the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery was the site for Flowers for Heroes second flower placement event. On Veterans Day 2009, over 2,500 supporters gathered to pay their respects to our Veterans by placing flowers at the resting place at ALNC. Following that was a beautiful ceremony that included special guests IL Gov. Pat Quinn, the Air National Guard Band, numerous military dignitaries, and a Blackhawk Helicopter Flyover.
History: The cemetery was dedicated in 1999 by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. It was the 117th national cemetery dedicated under the administration. The cemetery is on the grounds of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant site, which was formerly known as the Joliet Arsenal.
The cemetery is named after President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and founder of the National Cemetery system.
2010 National Cemeteries to be Visited
Flowers for Heroes
March 13, 2009 – Heroes Remembrance Day Danville National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in the city of Danville, Illinois. It encompasses 63.3 acres, and as of the end of 2005, it had 10,048 interments.
In 1897, Congress established the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Danville, and the next year the cemetery was established on a small plot of land nearby to inter those veterans who died while under care in the facility. In 1901 a new cemetery was plotted, and the interments were all moved to their current location. It was transferred to the National Cemetery system in 1973.
July 4, 2010 – Independence Day
Antietam National Cemetery, whose 11.36 acres contain 5,032 interments (1,836 unidentified), The cemetery contains only Union soldiers from the Civil War period. The cemetery also contains the graves of veterans and their wives from the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, and the Korean War. The cemetery was closed to additional interments in 1953. An exception was made in 2000 for the remains of USN Fireman Patrick Howard Roy who was killed in the attack on the USS Cole.
May 31, 2010 – Memorial Day Rock Island National Cemetery was established within the confines of the U.S. Arsenal located on Rock Island in the Mississippi River near the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Moline, IL. In 1863 an area was set aside to bury Union soldiers who died while serving as guards at the large Confederate prison camp established on Rock Island by the U.S. government.
Today, Rock Island is the final resting place of soldiers who served in the Civil War, as well as the Mexican War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq.
November 11, 2010 – Veterans Day Flowers for Heroes was so overwhelmed by the positive response from the local communities surrounding ALNC that we have decided we will be making this an annual event. We look forward to improving this event for 2010 by dedicating more time to work with local support organizations and the families of our soldiers laid to rest here.
2011 and Beyond
Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia is a military cemetery in the United States, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and near The Pentagon. More than 290,000 people are buried in an area of 624 acres (2.53 km2). Veterans and military casualties from every one of the nation's wars are interred in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. The cemetery is located on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 70 ha (172 acres), and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. The graves face westward, towards the United States.
Quantico National Cemetery is located on land that was part of the U.S. Marine Corps training base adjacent to Quantico in Prince William County, Va. The land has been used by the military for over 200 years. First, around 1775 by the Commonwealth of Virginia for Navy operations, and later, as a blockade point for the Confederate army during the Civil War.
In 1918 a permanent Marine base was established at Quantico. The Marine Corps Schools, a forerunner of the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, was created there in 1921. Since 1941, the focus of the base has been individual education rather than unit training. In 1977, the Marine Corps donated 725 acres of this land to the VA’s National Cemetery Administration, to establish a facility at Quantico. The cemetery was formally dedicated on May 15, 1983.
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) honors veterans with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service to our Nation. NCA currently maintains more than 2.9 million gravesites at 128 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites.
Largest National Cemetery: Calverton, N.Y. 1,045 acres.
Smallest National Cemetery: Hampton VAMC, Va. 0.03 acres.
Oldest National Cemetery: 14 established in 1862 (12 are currently maintained by VA).
Newest National Cemetery: Sarasota National Cemetery on January 9, 2009.
Since 1973, NCA has furnished more than 10.3 million headstones and markers. In fiscal year 2008, NCA furnished more than 361,200 headstones and markers.
NCA provided more than 511,300 Presidential Memorial Certificates to the loved ones of deceased veterans in fiscal year 2008.
VA estimates that 654,000 veterans in the U.S. and Puerto Rico died in 2008. Approximately 13 percent of U.S. veterans choose to be buried in a national or state veterans cemetery in FY 2008. As new national and state veterans cemeteries open, this percentage is expected to increase.