DALLAS – The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) awarded NCAs National Shrine Gold Award to Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery for reaching the highest standards for operations and maintenance. Dallas is one of 12 national cemeteries to receive national shrine status based on the national shrine scorecard rating 21 areas. 

“We are thrilled to reach national shrine status,” said Larry Williams, Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery director.  “We take pride in being able to provide a setting that is a lasting tribute commemorative of Veterans service to our nation.  We hope the families of those interred here find a sense of serenity, history and are honored to have their loved ones buried here.” 

NCA conducts an Organizational Assessment and Improvement (OAI) site visit to assess current operations at national cemeteries against NCA’s national shrine commitment operational standards and measures.  The standards were developed by NCA workgroups following the Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act of 1999, Public Law 106-117 and the Study on Improvements to Veterans Cemeteries. 

Standards for performance are rated in key operational areas such as interments, ground maintenance, headstones, markers, niche covers, equipment maintenance and facilities maintenance.  The standards provide guidance and direction for maintaining national cemeteries as the shrines they are intended to be. 

The Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials on May 12, 2000. The cemetery is situated on a 638.5-acre parcel of land that overlooks picturesque Mountain Creek Lake. The gently rolling hills provide a pastoral setting for visitors as they proceed along the central boulevard to the small lake adjacent to the assembly area and committal shelters.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery.  Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty.  Other burial benefits available for eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, the VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites.  More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA national cemeteries.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at (800) 827-1000.  To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117.