Hoeven Outlines Efforts to Enhance Fargo National Cemetery
Senator Discusses Fargo Memorial Honor Guard Project, Cemetery Enhancements & 30-Acre Expansion at ND American Legion Winter Conference
MINOT, N.D. – At the North Dakota American Legion’s Annual Department Winter Conference today, Senator John Hoeven outlined his efforts to ensure the Fargo National Cemetery (FNC) has the facilities needed to properly accommodate North Dakota’s veterans and their families. The senator:
- Worked to get agreement between the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) and the Gust family to expand the cemetery’s footprint from 5 acres to 35 acres.
- NCA has initiated the NEPA process to acquire the additional 30 acres, which will ensure the cemetery has adequate space for the future.
- Continues working to advance a project being developed at the cemetery by the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard to provide parking, a chapel and facilities for veterans, families and volunteers, among other features.
- Last year, Hoeven asked the City of Fargo to evaluate a partnership with the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard to secure land and develop the facilities.
- The senator continues working with the honor guard, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis, local landowners and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to keep the effort moving forward.
- To this end, Hoeven regularly speaks with VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs (USMA) Matthew Quinn to pass along feedback and concerns from honor guard and city leaders.
- Secured funding and approval at the VA to build at FNC a fully-developed restroom, wind walls and storage space.
- This comes as the result of Hoeven’s efforts with the VA and local veterans groups to find mutually-agreeable solutions to enhance the cemetery.
- These enhancements are set to be completed in spring of this year.
“Our veterans and their families deserve the opportunity to be laid to rest with honor, with recognition for their essential contributions to the security and welfare of our nation,” said Hoeven. “North Dakota has already worked to create the finest state-run veterans cemetery in the country, and we’re working to bring that same level of quality to our national veterans cemetery in Fargo. That’s exactly what our efforts with the local honor guard are all about, and we appreciate them, Mayor Mahoney, Mayor Dardis, the Gust family and USMA Quinn for working with us toward this worthwhile goal.”
Hoeven began these efforts after hearing concerns from veterans support groups that expanded facilities were needed to better accommodate veterans, families and volunteers and that the cemetery would run out of space sooner than anticipated. The senator is working with local stakeholders and veterans groups to identify opportunities for enhancing the cemetery to ensure it can continue serving veterans and their families for years to come. To this end, Hoeven:
- Included language in the Fiscal Year 2021 funding legislation that:
- Required NCA to review the infrastructure at Rural Initiative (RI) cemeteries.
- Encouraged the agency to partner with state, local or private organizations to address needs at RI cemeteries.
- Hosted USMA Quinn in North Dakota in 2021 so he could hear directly from local veteran support groups and to help ensure NCA would work with local stakeholders on addressing these concerns.
- Continues working through the Senate VA Appropriations Committee to identify ways to better support RI national cemeteries, like FNC, and related projects.
Next Article Previous Article