Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday in 1971, although its origins date back to the Civil War, and many cities in the North and South claim to be the birthplace of the holiday. On Memorial Day, the day to honor dead servicemen and women of all wars, here is a snapshot of our national cemeteries.

The National Cemetery Administration, part of the Veterans Affairs Department, maintains most national cemeteries.

National cemeteries maintained by:

National Cemetery Administration 115

Interior Department 14

Army Department 2

NCA cemeteries with most gravesites

Long Island, N.Y. 240,642

Calverton, N.Y. 125,165

Fort Snelling, Minn. 120,081

Golden Gate, Calif. 111,334

Jefferson Barracks, Mo. 106,225

Veterans Affairs cemeteries by the numbers

Number of acres 10,900

Number of gravesites 2.2 million

Number of interments in fiscal 1998 76,700

Cemetery comparisons

Largest national cemetery: Calverton National Cemetery, N.Y., 902 acres.

Smallest: Hampton National Cemetery, Va., 0.03 acres.

Newest: Tahoma National Cemetery, Wash., September 1997.

Oldest: 14 were established in 1862.

SOURCE: National Cemetery Administration

CAPTION: Tahoma National Cemetery, Wash.

CAPTION: From top: Calverton National Cemetery , N.Y.; Golden Gate, Calif.; Long Island, N.Y.; and Fort Snelling, Minn.

CAPTION: An honor guard member salutes the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, which is one of two cemeteries maintained by the Army Department. The other is the Soldiers Home National Cemetery in the District. More than 240,000 people are buried at Arlington.