Alexander: Senate Passes Bill to Pay for Veterans’ Burial Vaults in Greeneville’s Andrew Johnson National Cemetery

Posted on March 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the Senate passed a bill requiring the U.S. Department of the Interior to provide burial vaults for veterans buried in national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service, including Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Greeneville, Tenn.

“We owe our nation’s veterans a debt of gratitude that we cannot repay, and we must ensure that veterans and their families receive the honor and respect they deserve for their service and sacrifice. Burial vaults can be very costly for families, and this bill will help provide them in national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service at no cost. Veterans’ families should be able to choose the closest national cemetery for burial – not which location is cheaper.”

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Representative Austin Scott (R-Ga.) introduced the Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act on February 5, and Alexander was a cosponsor of the legislation. The bill requires the Department of Interior to provide an outer burial vault for each new veteran’s grave in a national cemetery managed by the National Park Service. This bill also allows veteran’s survivors who provided a privately purchased burial vault for National Park Service cemeteries to be reimbursed. Of the 14 national cemeteries controlled by the National Park Service, two are still providing burial services: the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Tennessee and the Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia.