Burial is open to all Veterans discharged from active military service under conditions other than dishonorable. Their spouses, minor children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial. Eligible spouses may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran. Also eligible for burial are members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, the Army and National Guard, and the Reserve Officer Training Corps who die while on active duty for training or performing service, or who have 20 years of service in reserve components of the Armed Forces creditable for retired pay.
Currently we operate one State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota. A second State Veterans Cemetery is under construction in Preston, Minnesota.
The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery – Preston is expected to open in late 2015, and the official dedication ceremony is planned to coincide with Memorial Day, 2016.
*Fees for spouse/eligible dependents cannot be prepaid and are subject to change.
Pre-registration ensures your eligibility in advance and eliminates delays in providing military documents to the cemetery. Pre-registration applications are available at the cemetery office or at your local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO). Contact your CVSO at www.macvso.org or by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838) MDVA’s one-stop customer service line for all Minnesota Veterans and their families.
The funeral director or the next of kin makes burial arrangements for an eligible Veteran, spouse or dependent at the time of need by contacting the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery. A spouse or dependent is buried based upon the eligibility of the Veteran. To establish the Veteran’s eligibility, a copy of the Veteran’s military discharge document or a DD214 must be provided. If these documents are not available, the cemetery must be provided with sufficient military information to allow the cemetery to access federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and/or military records to establish eligibility. The cemetery staff will set a tentative date for the committal service pending verification of service and character of discharge, and will notify the applicant when the committal service is scheduled. The proposed date and time will be approved only when the cemetery verifies eligibility and confirms the arrangements.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Temporary containers and water are provided in locations around the main cemetery drive. Floral items will be removed from graves by cemetery personnel as soon as they become faded or unsightly. Artificial flowers may be placed on graves during the periods specified on the floral regulation signs located around the main cemetery drive. Plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects of any nature and any other type of commemorative items are not permitted on the graves. Full floral policy available here.
The cemetery can do seven committal services per day, Monday – Friday, on a first-come first served basis, every hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (3 p.m. is cremation only). Committal services are limited to 20 minutes. All committal services should be brief and need to start on the hour at the scheduled time. Families who extend their services can greatly affect others who have reserved the following time. All committal services are held in the committal service building rather than at the actual gravesite because of burial rates and operational considerations. This ensures the family’s safety and provides a fitting location for military honors and the ability of our staff to continue cemetery operations. The remains are removed from the committal service building for burial following the family’s departure and are never left unattended by cemetery staff. Clergy services and other arrangements are the responsibility of the family or family representative. These arrangements are normally coordinated through the chosen funeral director.
A pre-placed grave liner will be provided, by the cemetery, for all casket burials. Traditional gravesites are available for individuals who choose to purchase a sealed burial vault from their chosen funeral director.
In-ground cremation gravesites provide a traditional burial option for cremated remains. In-ground cremation gravesites are marked with an upright granite headstone. The choice for the placement of cremated remains either in-ground or above-ground will need to be determined by the next-of-kin.
The columbarium provides an above-ground option for cremated remains. Columbarium niches are marked with a granite niche cover. The choice for the placement of cremated remains either in-ground or above-ground will need to be determined by the next-of-kin.
The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery and other state Veterans cemeteries are a compliment to the National Cemetery Administration. The National Cemetery Administration provides support to state cemeteries in the form of grants that can be used for development, expansion, and/or improvement. The National Cemetery Administration does not provide funding for the operation of state Veterans cemeteries.