CHELTENHAM, Md.—Governor Larry Hogan today joined the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) for the official dedication of a new administration building at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, which is the result of a federal-state partnership.
“Our veterans serve as a reminder every single day of the immeasurable cost of war and of the immense price of freedom, and we owe it to them to ensure that they have a final resting place that meets the high level of dignity and respect that they have earned,” said Governor Hogan.
“Maryland is proud to have the honor of operating one of the largest state veterans cemetery programs in the nation, and as long as I’m governor, we will continue to do everything we can to honor the service and sacrifice of our heroes.”
The cemetery received two grants totaling $15.9 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration’s Veteran Cemetery Grants Program to move forward with a number of major expansion efforts.
The project includes a new 3,000 square foot administration building, the addition of 8,200 burial sites, as well as major renovations of the maintenance building, vehicle storage building, and bulk storage building.
“We are grateful for our partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration and the Maryland Department of General Services,” said MDVA Secretary George Owings.
“The entire project, including the addition of new burial sites, ensures our ability to continue serving as a final resting place for those who have honorably served and their dependents.”
The new administration building provides space for the honor guard, who perform at burial services, to practice their routines and drills, and the waiting area is more receptive to families of loved ones who are buried at the cemetery. The new facility also provides a kiosk for locating burial plots.
“DGS is proud and honored to be working with the Department of Veterans Affairs on this project,” said DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. “These men and women served our great country, it is the least we can do for these true American heroes.”
The project was completed in approximately 15 months with 25% of the construction work fulfilled by five minority business enterprise (MBE) owned businesses and one veteran-owned small business, G&C Fab-Con, which accounted for 4.5% of the construction work.
Awesome job! I’ll have to stop by there during the holidays and check it out since a number of my family members are buried there.
The new administration building and other additions are much appreciated. However, when will we see an overall improvement in the appearance of gravesites? I have been told for the past 20+ years to give it time. Still nothing. Our veterans deserve better.
Not enough cemeteries allow flowers to be planted on graves. This one should be the exception.
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