Bakersfield National Cemetery to honor unaccompanied veterans
September 16, 2023
On Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m., a ceremony will be held at Bakersfield National Cemetery, 30338 E. Bear Mountain Blvd., Arvin to memorialize those veterans who were interred here without known family. This is the second ceremony held this year. There are no restrictions to the number of attendees permitted to assist in honoring veterans that are recognized in this type of ceremony.
This ceremony will honor the brave servicemen and women who served and were interred at Bakersfield National Cemetery, without family, over the past six months. Pre-ceremonial patriotic music will be provided by the veterans Family Band. The service will include a eulogy by Chaplain Claire, bagpipes played by James Carmichael and the Bear Valley Springs Honor Detail will conduct military honors that include a rifle salute and the playing of Taps. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend and pay their respects by stepping up and standing in as family for the veterans who will be honored.
Sometimes our nation’s heroes die with no known next-of-kin or insufficient resources. While VA’s goal is to help veterans and their loved ones before they die or become indigent, sometimes veterans outlive both their families and their financial means. As hard as the VA works to avoid this, and as difficult as it is to accept, at least now we can help ensure that veterans who die unclaimed are given the dignified burials they deserve – with military honors and their “Veteran & Community Family” present.
Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery that includes opening/closing of the grave, a grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite and a government-furnished upright headstone or flat marker or niche cover all at no cost to the family. veterans are also eligible for a burial flag and Presidential Memorial Certificate.
VA operates 155 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than four million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand, improve and maintain 121 veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam and Saipan. For veterans buried at private and other cemeteries, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service.
Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, online at http://www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices tollfree at (800) 827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117.
In 2019, NCA launched an individual Veteran profile page veterans Legacy Memorial | U.S. Department of veterans Affairs (va.gov) that has an interactive feature that allows family, friends and others to preserve their Veteran’s legacy by posting tributes (comments), uploading images, share their Veteran’s military service timeline, achievements, biographical information, historical documents and more.