Goldsboro, N.C. — The state Division of Veterans Affairs broke ground Thursday on its fourth military cemetery.
The Eastern Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, which is expected to begin serving military families late next year, is located in the community of Elroy, just outside Goldsboro and adjacent to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
The other state-run military cemeteries are in Black Mountain, Jacksonville and Spring Lake. All four provide burial services to North Carolina’s honorably discharged veterans, as well as their spouse and dependents.
"We are honoring the past by recognizing the sacrifices that veterans have made for our state and country," state Secretary of Administration Bill Daughtridge said in a statement. "Providing a final, honorable resting place for our veterans is an important part of expressing our appreciation."
A $5.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is funding construction of the cemetery. The first phase will have space for almost 8,000 graves.
The VA also operates four military cemeteries in North Carolina.