WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today dedicated a new 247-acre national cemetery in Morovis, Puerto Rico.
This is the sixth VA national cemetery to be dedicated in 2020, and the 153rd VA National Cemetery overall.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie along with Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves unveiled the dedication plaque for Morovis National Cemetery.
“The Veterans of Puerto Rico are second to none in their record of service, sacrifice and heroism,” said Wilkie. “It is most fitting we should end the year dedicating the newest shrine to our Veterans here on the Island of Enchantment.”
Construction of the initial phase of the cemetery is ongoing, with the first interments expected to occur in the first half of 2021. In the decades to come, it will provide burial options for more than 150,000 Veterans and their eligible family members living in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Region, as well as Central and South America.
Morovis National Cemetery has been constructed as a replacement cemetery for Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamon. Puerto Rico National Cemetery, which was dedicated in 1949 is expected to deplete new burial options in 2022. Subsequent interments of spouses and other dependents in existing gravesites will continue after that date.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dedication ceremony was closed to the public and attendance was limited in accordance with federal, CDC and territorial guidelines and mandates. Photos and video of the dedication can be found on the National Cemetery Administration’s Facebook site.
Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. “Veterans Affairs.” Go to VA.gov, 1 Sept. 2016, www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5582