New York selects location for first state veterans cemetery

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New York state has picked a former Seneca Lake naval training station as the spot for its first veterans cemetery, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

“We are forever indebted to the brave New Yorkers who served our nation in uniform and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live freely and safely, and we will never forget their contributions to society,” Cuomo said in a press release. 

The 162-acre Finger Lakes region cemetery, to be known as Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery, will have a capacity of 80,000 graves on the state-owned site on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, according to the governor’s office. The state Division of Veterans’ Services leaders will visit the cemetery on Monday and lay a wreath at a Memorial Day ceremony.

The decision comes after Cuomo in November 2019 said the state, home to more than 737,000 former service members, would create a dedicated resting place for veterans, in an effort headed by a committee helmed by the director of the New York Division of Veterans’ Services. 

“Our promise has always been to establish a permanent monument to these heroes and provide their family members — and people from across the state — a place to visit and honor their memories, and this site selected in Romulus is the perfect location for a sacred, final resting place,” said the third-term Democratic governor.  

“It’s an honor to establish the first state cemetery to honor homegrown heroes and I look forward to seeing the site open for New Yorkers and their families.”

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