The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selected the name Omaha National Cemetery for the national cemetery that VA will construct in the Omaha region. Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, said “The Veterans of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa deserve a final resting place worthy of their service to our nation.” The VA purchased the Sarpy County land located along South 144th St. (Highway 50), at 14250 Schram Road for $6 million in December 2012. The cemetery will serve more than 112,000 Veterans in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa not currently served with an open national, state or tribal Veterans cemetery within 75 miles of their residence.
In fall 2014, the VA plans to award a design/build construction contract to complete the remaining cemetery design work and construct the cemetery. The VA anticipates that the initial phase of the design/build project will take 2 to 2 ½ years to complete and develop approximately 35 acres of land for approximately 5,500 interment sites. The project will also incorporate memorial walls to commemorate those whose remains are not available for interment.
In addition to the gravesite development, construction will include access roads, an entrance area, a flag/assembly area, committal shelters; an administration building/public information center with electronic gravesite locator, public restrooms, a memorial walkway, a maintenance complex and more.
National cemeteries are named based on the geographic area in which the cemetery is located. VA relies on local Veterans and community leaders to submit name suggestions. Of the names submitted, “Omaha National Cemetery” best met VA’s naming criteria and is consistent with the requirements specified in United States Code requiring VA property, including national cemeteries, to be named for the geographic area in which the facility is located.
Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Other burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a Government headstone or marker.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at http://www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.