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
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.