Celebrating Memorial Day is about more than picnics and summer fun. It is a holiday designed as a veterans memorial, for those who died in service to our country. If you don’t know the history of Memorial Day or how it differs from Veterans Day, this is a great post from the Veterans Administration. The numbers of Americans who have died during wartime are staggering (pictures from PBS NewsHour).
Check out our Memorial Day post for ideas about how to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day. If you wish to visit Florida National Cemetery for Memorial Day, you can find directions and more information here. Florida National Cemetery is located in the Withlacoochee State Forest, approximately 50 miles north of Tampa in Sumter County. You can put fresh cut flowers on the graves at any time. For the period around Memorial Day (10 days before and after) you can also place artificial flowers and potted plants at the graves. The cemetery features a Veterans Memorial Pathway, lined with a variety of memorials honoring America’s veterans. Memorial Day ceremonies are held in the main assembly area’s open colonnade.
We also recommend the Honor the Fallen website, which serves as an online veterans memorial for those who died in our recent military operations.
Donating Burial Flags in National Cemeteries for a Veterans Memorial
You may want to donate a burial flag this Memorial Day at one of the national cemeteries. Most of the Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and during special events, consisting of flags donated by the families of deceased Veterans.
To offer this type of veterans memorial, you can contact the cemetery of your choice to get more information about donating a Veteran’s burial flag. You will receive a certificate of appreciation as the donor.
Burial in a National Cemetery and Other Veterans Burial Benefits
You cannot reserve gravesites at national cemeteries in advance. Military paperwork, such as discharge papers, must be furnished by families making arrangements for burial in a national cemetery. A funeral home can assist with burial at a national cemetery, or you can contact 1-800-535-1117 (you will need to fax documentation over to the scheduling contact). There are also burial benefits available for spouses and dependents.
Burial benefits available for veterans buried in a private cemetery may include a government headstone, marker or medallion, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Visit this link for more information on burial in a national cemetery or burial benefits in private cemeteries.
Here is more information about burial in Arlington Cemetery.
For help with veterans benefits or in-home care for veterans, contact us.
Our team offers tribute to all our fallen heroes this Memorial Day and beyond!