WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced a bipartisan bill to expand America’s National Cemetery. As this sacred resting place nears capacity, the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act would ensure another national cemetery provides full military burial honors for eligible veterans.
“Being laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors is a sacred tribute we give our nation’s heroes” said Rep. McClain. “I am proud to introduce the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act to ensure our veterans and future servicemembers are honored with the full and proper final respects they deserve. Our men and women in uniform should know how much their sacrifices mean to our country and expanding America’s National Cemetery is one way we can show them.”
Rep. McClain introduced this bill with Rep. Houlahan (D-PA), and Rep. Jackson (D-NC).
“As Arlington National Cemetery reaches capacity and available space for burials decreases, we must ensure veterans who earn full military honors have a recognized site to be buried with distinction,” said Rep. Houlahan. “This cannot wait, we must identify an additional national cemetery as a final resting place for veterans. I’m proud to lead this effort with Rep. McClain by asking the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to be proactive in this effort for those who’ve given so much to our country.”
“We have a sacred obligation to our veterans which includes ensuring that they’re able to be laid to rest with full military honors,” said Rep. Jeff Jackson. “Capacity at Arlington National Cemetery should not be the limiting factor. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that we give veterans the respect and dignity they deserve.”
The Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act is endorsed by the Military Women’s Memorial Foundation, The Military Coalition and MOAA.
“The Military Coalition, representing 5.5 million service members, veterans, and their families and survivors, thanks Representatives McClain and Houlahan, for the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act,” said Jack Du Teil, president of The Military Coalition, which is made up of nearly three dozen member organizations including MOAA. “This important legislation will help ensure our nation executes its duty to properly honor those who pledged their very lives in its defense. Moreover, by ensuring all who served receive the full, proper final respects they deserve will provide the loved ones they leave behind with the pride and comfort they should likewise be entitled to.”
“The Military Women’s Memorial Foundation, representing the some 3 Million women who have served in, and with, the United States military, thanks Representatives McClain and Houlahan for the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act. Women have served this country honorably and courageously since the Revolutionary War and this legislation ensures their service and sacrifice affords them the privilege of a full military honors funeral in a National Cemetery.” – Phyllis J. Wilson, President, Military Women’s Memorial Foundation
“Military honors serve to comfort the grieving and instill pride in families who witness our nation’s final respects for their loved ones,” said MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret) “MOAA is proud to support the Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act and the steadfast work from Representatives McClain and Houlahan to ensure we keep our promise to our veterans and sustain this honor for future servicemembers. Continuing to honor service and sacrifice is essential to maintaining trust and increasing personal participation in our nation’s defense.”
The Expanding America’s National Cemetery Act would:
- Ensure Veterans Continue to be Provided with Full Military Honors
- Establish a Report on Increasing Cemetery Capacity
- Review Interment Criteria at Arlington National Cemetery