Local News

Fort Bragg Cemetery Running Out of Space

Posted February 23, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Fort Bragg Cemetery is one of several US Army cemeteries across the nation getting ready to close. They're simply running out of space, and the defense department does not want the cemeteries to expand to meet the need.

Hildegard Howard visits her husband's grave at Fort Bragg Cemetery three times a week. She is sad to hear the cemetery will be closing because of lack of space.

But, Fort Bragg can't expand, says Ron Mansfield of the Adjutant General's Office. That's because in the 1950's, the Department of Defense decided that the Army and other branches of the armed services needed to get out of the cemetery business.

Two people will be buried at the cemetery on Wednesday. With just 14 sites left, the cemetery is expected to be full by the end of the month. With Fort Bragg's cemetery closing, some veterans have reserved a site at the new State Veterans' Cemetery, just minutes away from Fort Bragg.

Along with state cemeteries, veterans also have the option of being buried at a national cemetery. With no new spaces available at Bragg, family members can choose to share a grave with their loved ones already buried there.

Many Veterans'Association national cemeteries have also reached capacity. Additional national cemeteries would run out of available space by the year 2000. Efforts are underway to acquire adjacent properties. Environmental studies have been completed for possible cemetery locations in Chicago, Seattle, Albany, Cleveland, and Dallas.