Kentucky's State Veterans Cemeteries

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No Memorial Day Ceremonies at KDVA Veterans Cemeteries

This year, there will be no Memorial Day Ceremonies at KDVA's five Veterans Cemeteries, due to restrictions from the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The cemeteries will be open to visitors who observe the 10-person group limit and who maintain physical distancing of six feet from each other. There will be grave flags at each headstone and the carillon will play patriotic music. Cemetery staff will be present at the Administrative Building to direct visitors to specific graves. 

KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson sends this message: 

This Memorial Day, we will be remembering our veterans who have passed not by gathering by the hundreds at veterans cemeteries, not by bringing large groups of family and friends to place flowers on graves, not by crowding together to hear speeches, but by staying apart to protect each other and the nation those veterans died to preserve. 

We do not have to attend big ceremonies to honor our fallen heroes – we can honor them in our homes. We do not have to hear patriotic music to remember what they did – we see the success of their sacrifice around us every day. On this Memorial Day, take strength and determination and renewed commitment from their example, and keep fighting to save all our loved ones from the pandemic that threatens us all. 

I remind you to join Americans everywhere for the Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance, legislated by Congress and proclaimed by the President, on Monday, May 25 at three o’clock. Wherever you are, please pause for one minute in this act of national unity to demonstrate your gratitude and respect for those who died for our freedom.
 
Mission

The mission of KDVA's Cemetery Branch is to ensure dignified interment for veterans in a sacred space that stands as a tribute to their service for the nation and the Commonwealth. KDVA currently operates five State Veterans Cemeteries across the state.

Attendance at Veterans Cemeteries Services

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs will suspend all committal services in our five State Veteran Cemeteries, and go to direct interments only, starting Monday March 23, 2020. KDVA will continue to inter veterans and dependents in state veterans cemeteries, but will not conduct funeral/committal services or burial honors.

Our cemeteries will remain open to visitors, but we strongly urge all guests to obey local travel restrictions and avoid unnecessary travel. Visitors should expect that certain portions of a cemetery typically open to the public may be closed (for example, Administration offices, Committal Shelters). Please call the local cemetery for more information.

A direct interment consist of the funeral home transporting the remains to the cemetery and our staff receiving remains and going directly to the burial site. There is no service at the committal shelter, no military honors, no gathering of family at all. (If next of kin wish to observe the Direct Interment, they may do so from the safety of their own automobile).

Once the direct interment is complete the family can visit the grave site at any time. If a family wishes interment of cremations they will be done the same way. These steps are in place to control the gathering of people at our cemeteries, and control the spread of COVID-19.

This policy follows the policy just instituted by the National Cemetery Administration, which oversees national and state veterans cemeteries. Once the COVID-19 crisis passes, the next of kin then can reach out to the Cemetery main office and set up a Committal Service and rendering of military honors.

It is our intent to conduct a committal service with military honors for every Kentucky Veteran in a dignified manner.

#COVID19 #TeamKentucky #OurKYHome #TogetherKY


New Funeral Services Restrictions

In accordance with the new COVID-19 guidance announced by Gov. Beshear yesterday, KDVA is restricting attendance at funeral services at our five Kentucky State Veterans Centers to immediate family only. For the purposes of this guidance, immediate family members include:
• Spouse
• Parents
• Grandparents
• Children (adopted, half and step children)
• Grandchildren
• Siblings
• In-laws (mother, father, brother, sister, daughter and son)

For more information on COVID-19 guidance in Kentucky, go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

#COVID19 #TeamKentucky #OurKYHome #TogetherKY


ATTENTION:  There is a NEW Funeral Honors Stipend Request Form.  Only NEW Stipend Request Forms will be processed for payment.  Please destroy any old stipend request forms, as they will no longer be accepted.
NEW Funeral Honors Stipend Request Form

Photos from Memorial Day Ceremonies at State Veterans Cemeteries


New Gold Star Sibling License Plate Available January 4, 2016

Beginning January 4, 2016, a Gold Star Sibling license plate will become available to individuals whose sibling died while serving the country in the United States Armed Forces. To honor their deceased loved ones, the creation of the plate was established by House Bill 209, passed by the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly.  The Gold Star Sibling plate will be available for passenger vehicles and motorcycles. For purposes of this legislation, “sibling” means a sibling by blood, a sibling by half-blood, a sibling by adoption, or a stepsibling.
 

As with other military plates, there are restrictions.  To receive the plate, a Gold Star Sibling Affidavit must be completed and submitted to the Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs (KDVA).  Applicants must include full name, address, email and phone number, as well as verification of the service member's death while on active duty.  Such verification can be a DD Form 1300 or other third-party verification such as contemporary newspaper articles.  KDVA will confirm eligibility and provide a letter of qualification directly to the county clerk office on behalf of the license plate applicant.

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Qualifications

According to Kentucky law, the individual must be a Kentucky veteran for burial at one of the state veteran cemeteries.  Examples include: born in KY, served at one of the U.S. military installations in KY, lived in KY, home of record in KY.





Hours of Operation

Kentucky's State Veterans Cemeteries are open to the public 24 hours, seven days a week.  Normal business hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, not including state holidays.  Interments take place on non-holiday weekdays only.  Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are reserved for families and loved ones of those interred to visit in peace and quiet.

Services

Total interment services include:

  • Furnishing grave or columbarium space
  • Opening and closing the grave
  • Providing the interment site with perpetual care
  • Supplying a suitable marker or headstone
  • Furnishing an optional concrete grave liner for casketed burials