10 Military Cemeteries To Visit On Veterans Day
Visiting military cemeteries is a good way to pay tribute to the lives lost in service to our nation.
If you have tips you want American Military News to investigate please email [email protected]. Your identity will be protected.
Below is a list of 10 that are fantastic to visit. If you can’t make it to one of these, check out and see if there is one near you and swing by to pay your respects to the fallen.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
This burial ground — commonly called the Punchbowl for the extinct crater where it’s located — contains 33,230 graves of soldiers who perished across the Pacific in World War II, along with victims of the Korean and Vietnam wars. Notable burials include war correspondent Ernie Pyle and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died in 2012.800-464-2924; gohawaii.com
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
This beautiful burial ground on hills overlooking the Pacific speaks to San Diego’s history as a Navy town. It includes memorials to the ships lost at the World War II battle off Samar in the Philippines, when a badly outnumbered U.S. fleet encountered the Japanese. “They attacked and fought until they were all almost sunk or killed. It was one of the biggest naval battles ever,” Lehman says. 619-232-3101;sandiego.org
Santa Fe National Cemetery
As the West began to settle and civilize, the government closed frontier forts and brought the dead to what was then a territorial capital for re-burial. “It’s a time capsule of the Western frontier,” Lehman says. It’s also where victims of the battle of Glorieta Pass, a little-known Civil War battle in New Mexico, were interred. A monument honors the Navajo Code Talkers, who confounded the Japanese by using their native language to transmit military orders. 800-777-2489; santafe.org
San Francisco National Cemetery
The Presidio, first used as a fort by the Spanish, includes a historic burial ground with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Graves here include Buffalo Soldiers — the African-American servicemen who served across the West after the Civil War — and Union spy Pauline Cushman Fryer, a former actress who barely escaped execution. “It’s fascinating when you see the people buried there,” Lehman says. 415-561-5300; presidio.gov
Arlington National Cemetery
This somber cemetery pays homage to fallen soldiers and other national heroes, including presidents, astronauts and victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon. Lehman suggests visiting Section 60, where soldiers lost in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. “It really brings it to life. It’s right there, it’s right now. There are still internments going on.” 877-907-8585; arlingtoncemetery.mil
Gettysburg National Cemetery
The world’s attention will turn to Pennsylvania later this month when ceremonies honor the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which President Lincoln gave at the dedication of this cemetery. “It was less than six months after the battle,” Lehman says. “They were still gathering bodies from shallow graves and finding soldiers that had been killed.” 717-334-1124; nps.gov/gett
West Point Cemetery
Set in an idyllic spot overlooking the Hudson River, this cemetery contains notable West Point grads like Persian Gulf commander Norman Schwarzkopf and George Armstrong Custer, who presided over the Battle of the Little Bighorn. “His widow insisted he would not remain out in the prairies and made sure there was a very good monument,” Lehman says. 845-938-2504; usma.edu
Andersonville National Cemetery
Most of the 13,000 Union soldiers buried here perished in the infamous Confederate Andersonville POW camp. American Red Cross founder Clara Barton played a role in creating the burial ground, which is still in use. “It’s a powerful place. The cemetery is dedicated to all American prisoners of war — from all wars,” Lehman says. 229-924-0343; nps.gov/ande
Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery
This frontier fort was the crossroads of Western expansion and contains burials dating to 1827, although the earliest graves were moved to the current site. “As bodies were found in the Western Theater, they’d be buried in Fort Leavenworth,” Lehman says. 913-684-4348; garrison.leavenworth.army.mil
Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial
Less famous than the cemeteries in Normandy marking the World War II D-Day invasion, this graveyard northwest of Paris was created for World War I victims who were not repatriated. The grounds are carefully maintained, Lehman says. “It’s a window on the way the U.S. thought about its venture overseas. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars.” abmc.gov