Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has chosen a site for the National Veterans Cemetery in Elko. This announcement comes after Cortez Masto secured a commitment last September from the Trump Administration and the VA that they would move forward with choosing a site for the cemetery.
The VA will work with the City of Elko to acquire 15 acres from the city to construct the burial ground. The new site will serve over 4,000 veterans and is the largest cemetery ever established under the VA’s Rural Initiative to create burial options for veterans in rural communities. The initial construction will include 5 acres of burial ground, with the intent to hold 10 additional acres in reserve should it be needed over the coming decades.
“Elko’s veterans and community leaders have been waiting for this day for almost 10 years, and I have worked hard to deliver for them,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “The approval of this cemetery has been a longtime priority of mine, and I can’t wait to see construction begin on a site that will finally allow Elko to establish this much-needed veterans cemetery for the region.”
“We’ve been working to secure the construction of a National Veterans Cemetery in Elko for years, and we couldn’t have done it without Senator Cortez Masto,” said Gil Hernandez, Commander of Elko’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2350 and member of the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Advisory Committee. “This cemetery means so much to our veteran population and their families, thanks to her advocacy with the VA we are now able to complete a new, nationally recognized burial ground for the men and women who have served our nation in uniform.”
Elko has been under consideration for a veterans cemetery since 2011, when the VA’s Rural Initiative identified the area as in need of a National Veterans Burial Ground. The closest veterans cemeteries for regional veterans and their families are over 200 miles away – in either Fernley or Salt Lake City. Senator Cortez Masto’s efforts have been instrumental in speeding up the process and securing a final commitment from the VA to begin construction on the Elko site. She’s called on both the VA and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to support her efforts to create the Elko Veterans Cemetery, and she previously introduced legislation to authorize the creation of the burial ground.