Hoeven Outlines the Future of Fargo National Cemetery
Senator Secured Upgrades Coming This Summer, Working to Advance Additional Facilities & Ensure Cemetery Can Better Serve Veterans, Families & Volunteers
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today provided an update on the future of the Fargo National Cemetery and outlined his efforts with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) to:
- Expand Fargo National Cemetery to ensure adequate burial space for the future.
- NCA has identified approximately 30 acres for expansion and has initiated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process to acquire the land.
- Support local veterans groups in building additional facilities at the cemetery to better serve veterans, families and volunteers.
- Hoeven secured a commitment from NCA to consider a proposal from local stakeholders and veterans groups, who are currently developing a detailed business plan.
- Bring upgrades to Fargo National Cemetery, including wind walls, storage space and restrooms, which should be completed by the end of summer.
- Hoeven secured these upgrades while hosting VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Matthew Quinn in North Dakota last year.
“As we observe Memorial Day and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, it is fitting that we look for ways to better give veterans the care, benefits and recognition they deserve,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate NCA and the Gust family for working with us to bring a national cemetery to Fargo in 2019, and for their continued efforts. Now, we are working to upgrade and expand Fargo National Cemetery to help ensure our state’s veterans can continue to be laid to rest here with honor, closer to their homes and loved ones, with the first set of projects to be completed this summer. Importantly, by improving the cemetery’s facilities, veterans, honor guard and families will be better served and more comfortable during these solemn occasions.”
Hoeven began working to advance these priorities after hearing concerns from veteran support groups that the cemetery would run out of space sooner than anticipated and that expanded facilities were needed to better accommodate veterans, families and volunteers. The senator then began 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 Under Secretary Quinn in North Dakota in November 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 Fargo National Cemetery, and related projects.
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