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Archive for Friday, April 18, 2003

VA approves $3.3 million for WaKeeney cemetery

April 18, 2003

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— The Veterans Administration has approved $3.3 million to establish the Kansas Veterans Cemetery at WaKeeney in western Kansas.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi announced the award Thursday.

"This award, and an increasing number like it for state veterans' cemeteries, recognize the contribution of America's aging veterans," Principi said.

The nearest VA cemetery is Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Neb., which is about 165 miles away.

The 24-acre WaKeeney cemetery will have an entrance gate, assembly area, administration and maintenance building, committal shelter and associated road, grading and drainage work.

The first phase of the cemetery will provide 2,600 burial spaces and 320 niches for cremated remains.

The VA's State Cemetery Grants Program has helped to establish, expand or improve 51 state veterans cemeteries. Six more are under construction.

State veterans cemeteries provided 17,177 burials last year. Since the program began in 1980, the VA has awarded 127 grants for more than $155 million to 30 states and Guam.

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