JACKSON—Gov. Phil Bryant announced today Mississippi will construct the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael, Miss., in Montgomery County. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded Mississippi a $6.6 million VA State Veterans Cemetery Grants Program grant for construction and outfitting of the cemetery.
“This is a great honor for our state and the American heroes who will find this as a final resting place for life’s journey,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi is committed to honoring its veterans, and this new facility will provide service to more than 22,000 veterans and their spouses in North Mississippi who currently don’t have a veterans’ burial option near their home. I thank Senator Cochran, Randy Reeves and all who have worked diligently to make this option a reality for those who have served this nation.”
The grant comes after a nearly two year collaborative planning and design effort by the Office of the Governor, Mississippi’s Congressional leaders, members of the Mississippi Legislature, the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board, the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration and local leaders and citizens in Montgomery County.
“Veterans cemeteries are hallowed ground on which grateful Americans can honor those who have served our nation. The new state veterans cemetery at Kilmichael will be just such a site for veterans, their families and all Mississippians. I commend the state for its hard work to make this new memorial park a reality” said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, who as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee has supported additional funding for the VA State Cemetery Grants Program.
When completed, the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery will be Mississippi’s second state veterans cemetery and the fifth in a network of state and federal veterans cemeteries in Mississippi. Facilities in Louisiana and Tennessee also service portions of Mississippi. The new cemetery will ensure that veterans across Mississippi have a burial option within 75 miles of their homes.
“This grant and, ultimately, the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery would not be a reality without the support of Governor Bryant and our leaders in the Legislature,” Randy Reeves, Executive Director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board said. “Mississippi cares about its Veterans and their families and we are proud to partner with the National Cemetery Administration on this.”
Construction of North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is expected to begin in early fall of this year with completion in spring 2017.
There is no charge for interment of eligible United States Veterans and their spouses at Mississippi’s State Veterans Cemeteries.