ALBANY – For the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to establish the state’s first State Veterans Cemetery.
Cuomo says he plans to introduce legislation to streamline the process established to select and access federal funding for a State Veterans Cemetery.
Additionally, a committee chaired by the Director of the NYS Division of Veterans’ Services will work to develop an action plan and determine the location of the cemetery, Cuomo said.
“We owe the men and women who served in our nation’s military the greatest debt of gratitude — and we owe it to those who have passed away a place of rest in New York alongside their fellow service members,” Cuomo explained. “By establishing the state’s first veterans cemetery, we can provide a permanent monument to these heroes who’ve made our freedom possible and provide their family members — and people from across the state — a place to visit to honor their memories.”
New York is one of only a few states nationwide that does not have a State Veterans Cemetery.
Cuomo said in the past veterans and their families have advocated for the establishment of a State Veterans Cemetery, but any site considered must first set aside 15 years’ worth of perpetual care costs prior to moving forward with the selection process.
Cuomo also announced the creation of a committee, chaired by the Director of the NYS Division of Veterans’ Services, that will oversee the development of the cemetery, including the site selection process that will determine the location of the cemetery.
The announcement builds upon Cuomo’s longstanding commitment to the nearly 750,000 veterans living in New York State.
Under his administration, New York has enacted the nation’s largest fund for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, certifying over 600 businesses to date; convened the State’s first-ever Summit on Veterans and Military Families; launched the Justice for Heroes Initiative to fund legal clinics at law schools that provide assistance to veterans; provided funding for nonprofits that offer peer-to-peer support for veterans and their families; and waived the application fee for veterans taking Civil Service exams.
The state has also dedicated over $50 million to establishing supportive housing projects and other developments for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families throughout the state.