ARDMORE, Okla. (KFOR) – Veterans in Oklahoma will soon be able to be laid to rest in a State Veterans Cemetery after a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration awarded a $7,355,463 grant to the state of Oklahoma to establish a State Veterans Cemetery.
Officials say the cemetery will be located in Ardmore.
“The City of Ardmore is honored to be chosen as the site for the State Veterans Cemetery,” said Ardmore City Manager J. D. Spohn. “As a Marine Corps veteran myself, I take great pride in working with federal, state and local officials to help make this project a reality. The City appreciates the efforts of the elected officials and citizen groups working together for several years to get to this day.”
“The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs prides itself in providing every service we can to our nation’s heroes,” said Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Homes Shawn Kirkland. “The construction of this cemetery is another way for us to honor these Veterans and their service to our great country. We look forward to being able to provide a final resting place that represents the sacrifice these soldiers made and honor the public service of these great Veterans.”
The grant will fund the construction of 1,104 pre-placed crypts, 434 cremains gravesites, 600 columbarium niches, a main entrance, an administration building, a maintenance facility, road, landscaping and a memorial walkway on 12 acres of land.
Officials say the cemetery will provide service for approximately 25,571 veterans and their eligible family members.
“I am very encouraged to learn that Oklahoma is receiving support to construct a cemetery that brings lasting and well-deserved honor to our heroic veterans,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “The brave men and women who have defended our country deserve the utmost respect, and I am proud that Ardmore will soon serve as the final resting place for our veteran heroes. I want to recognize the dedicated efforts and attention of numerous individuals in the Ardmore community, who over many years advocated for this important project. Thank you to Ardmore City Manager J. D. Spohn, State Senator Frank Simpson, State Representative Tommy Hardin as well as former Representative Pat Ownbey and Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Homes Shawn Kirkland, Ardmore Veterans Center Administrator Marsha Huddleston and Rear Admiral Wesley Hull for their tireless work and commitment to making this happen.”