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We of the VFW are adamantly opposed to this new method of burial and we are very grateful to you for your proffered help. If there is anything you can do to relieve the situation, I am sure that it will be appreciated by our entire membership. Thanking you in advance for your anticipated help, I am, Yours most sincerely,
MARK H. DAVIS, Commander.
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS,
OF THE UNITED STATES,
Harrisburg, Pa., March 1, 1962.
Insular Affairs, House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR SIR: It is a privilege and a welcome opportunity to bring to your attention, and the members of your committee, the need of providing for the establishment of additional national cemeteries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A survey, by me, of the national cemetery situation in Pennsylvania discloses that this problem has for many years been legislatively neglected.
There are only two national cemeteries located in Pennsylvania, one in Philadelphia, established in 1862, in which there are approximately 10,844 interred. The cemetery is considered as being closed and there is no undeveloped acreage in the vicinity for expansion. The other cemetery is located in Gettysburg and is under the Department of the Interior, as it is considered one of the national monument group. There are a few buried there who are not identified, as the result of the Battle of Gettysburg. There are approximately 4,579 interred in this cemetery and less than 100 grave sites remain available.
Pennsylvania has the third largest veteran population in the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has approximately 1,650,000 of her sons and daughters who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, many of whom would desire to be buried in a national cemetery in their home State. I, therefore, feel very strongly that additional national cemeteries in the State of Pennsylvania are sorely needed.
The Department of Pennsylvania, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, is vitally concerned over the need for new cemeteries and recommends three new cemeteries be established in Pennsylvania, to be located in the eastern, western, and central part of the State.
It is respectfully requested that this statement be inserted in the record of the subcommittee hearings. Sincerely yours,
John T. RADRO, Commander.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF H.R. 3682
I heartily support H.R. 3682 for the establishment of national cemeteries in the State of Arizona introduced by Representative John J. Rhodes in the 1st session of the 87th Congress.
One of the few rewards a veteran is offered is the right to be laid to rest by the side of his comrades-in-arms and to be assured of perpetual care by the country for which he offered his life to preserve.
By long-established custom, the families and friends of deceased persons have grown to expect that their loved ones will be laid to rest in the general vicinity of the location in which they lived. This practice allows them to visit the cemetery to pay their respects without undue expense or extensive travel.
Once established, a national cemetery becomes a national shrine and a place of beautiful dignity where all the dead of all wars may be revered by the respectful citizens of the United States of America.
The colorful history of the Arizona territory and the State of Arizona would lend much to the prestige of a national cemetery for this State and the veterans would be accorded the privilege to which they are entitled.
J. G. HOLLOWAY, Colonel, USAR (Retired), Douglas, Ariz.
(State of Arizona, House of Representatives, 25th Legislature, 2d regular sess. ] HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL No. 2, A JOINT MEMORIAL REQUESTING THE ESTABLISH
MENT OF A NATIONAL CEMETERY IN ARIZONA
To the Congress of the United States of America:
Your memorialist respectfully represents:
The State of Arizona does not have a national cemetery within its borders even though, proportionately, there are more veterans in Arizona than in most States of the United States. The influx of veterans into the State of Arizona is due to the fact that for many years there have been many military installations located in the State. Moreover, thousands of veterans have moved to Arizona to take advantage of the dry, healthful climate.
A deceased veteran, who has expressed a desire to be buried in a national cemetery, has to be transported to a distant point in another State for burial.
Wherefore your memorialist, the Legislature of the State of Arizona, prays:
1. That the Congress provide for the establishment of a national cemetery in the State of Arizona.
Passed the house of representatives February 2, 1962, by the following vote: 72 ayes, 4 nays, 4 not voting.
Passed the senate February 19, 1962, by the following vote: 28 ayes, 0 nays, 0 not voting.
Approved by the Governor, February 21, 1962.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Harrisburg, February 23, 1962.
STATEMENT OF NATIONAL CEMETERY NEEDS FOR COMMONWEALTH OF
Submitted to: Hon. J. T. Rutherford, chairman, Subcommittee on National
Parks, House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Submitted by: Lt. Col. William B. Freeland, deputy adjutant general, veteran
affairs, Pennsylvania Department of Military Affairs. The veteran population of Pennsylvania is approximately 1,642,000 with 25 percent of these veterans above 50 years of age or about 410,500 veterans.
All veterans are now reaching the age where the trials and tribulations and the insecurities of life are beginning to take their toll and thus, their susceptibilities to the ills and infirmities of age are becoming increasingly greater. In addition, many veterans have service-connected injuries and disabilities that inevitably detract from their life expectancy. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that in the immediate years ahead a greater number of deaths among these veterans can be expected.
In 1965, approximately 13,395 Pennsylvania veterans will die. About 1 percent will request burial in a Pennsylvania national cemetery—therefore 134 graves will be required in 1965. In view of these calculations, it is apparent that the ultimate number of grave sites required for the present living 1,642,000 Pennsylvania veterans will be about 16,400 graves. If the wives of these veterans also request burial with their husbands, this number would be increased accordingly. Of course, it should always be kept in mind that during the prolonged periods of the cold war thousands of additional Pennsylvanians now serving their country would also apply for final burial in a national cemetery. This number is an unpredictable figure—but allowance for same should be considered in the final determination for future graves.
At a meeting of the Joint Veterans Council for Pennsylvania, it was indicated that a wise choice of location for a new national cemetery in Pennsylvania would be on ground adjacent to but outside the boundaries of the present cemetery and historic Civil War Battlefield at Gettysburg. It was pointed out that a new national cemetery at this site could also act as a centrally located memorialized burial center for the veterans of States adjoining Pennsylvania.
Gettysburg is in very close proximity to many of the famed national shrines of American history, of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and the Colonial period. It could be expected that a national cemetery adjoining these historical shrines would attract relatives and friends and also many tourists to visit the graves of those heroes of our country's wars who are buried in this hallowed ground. Many of these people would go on to visit the other historical shrines. These pilgrimages would engender a rebirth of pride and patriotism in the deeds of our forefathers.
It was also the consensus of thinking of the Joint Veterans Council at their meeting that the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (1963) would be a very appropriate time to dedicate the new National Cemetery.
A location for a second cemetery in Pennsylvania was discussed and no actual location was given preference although it is agreed that somewhere in western Pennsylvania would be the most logical location.
In the event the Gettysburg location would not be feasiblean area near Indiantown Gap Military Reservation east of Harrisburg, Pa., and about 40 miles from Gettysburg is suggested.
It is the desire and the hope of veterans in Pennsylvania that the subcommittee of which you are chairman will see fit-in its deliberation—to recommend to the full committee and through them to the Senate and the full Congress that one or more national cemeteries be established in Pennsylvania in the very near future.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. Also a statement from the Tidewater Funeral Directors Association of Hampton, Va., will be inserted in the record at this point.
Without objection, it is so ordered.
OFFICE OF SECRETARY,
February 24, 1962. COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
GENTLEMEN : The members of the Tidewater Funeral Directors Association, in regular monthly meet on February 23, 1962, discussed the advisability of the national cemetery, located at Hampton, Va., being enlarged by purchasing from the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Highways, 14.73 acres of unused, Commonwealth-owned land, located on the north and west sides of the Phoebus addition to the Hampton National Cemetery.
At the present rate of interments the Phoebus section will be filled by the end of this year, 1962, and the Hampton section will be filled by the end of 1963, thereby necessitating the possibility of the establishment of a new cemetery.
With these facts in mind and being close to the situation, we of the Tidewater Funeral Directors Association, by unanimous vote on February 23, 1962, are of the opinion that it is advisable to acquire this property at this time, because it is less costly and more expedient to acquire this adjoining property and develop same than it would be to go to another location, acquire land, and develop a new cemetery. With this addition to the present cemetery it would approximately double the present area, thereby meet the needs of this area for a long period of years, eliminating the possible necessity of having to establish a
This subject has been discussed fully with Hon. Thomas N. Downing, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., who represents the section of Virginia that is involved. Sincerely yours,
R. N. BAKER, Jr. Mr. RUTHERFORD. There being no further business, the subcommittee stands in recess until 2:15 this afternoon.
(Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the subcommittee was recessed, to reconvene at 2:15 p.m., the same day, March 6, 1962.)
Mr. RUTHERFORD. The Subcommittee on National Parks will please come to order.
I am sure most of you in the audience are aware of the delay from our 2:15 time. There was a quorum call on the floor. We will now continue the calling of the witnesses, including those on the list by name or organization.
The Chair now calls for those veterans organizations who are in the room, who desire to either orally or in writing submit a statement for the record at this time, who wish to address themselves to the national scope or the national policy of the cemetery problem.
Those who wish to be recognized at this time, please identify yourselves.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR MORIN, SENIOR VICE DEPARTMENT COM
MANDER, ACCOMPANIED BY BEN THOMAS, ADJUTANT QUARTERMASTER, AND ALBERT GIFFORD, CAMDEN COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER, NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS
Mr. MORIN. Mr. Chairman, we are a delegation from the State of New Jersey and we would like, if we may, to present a few remarks concerning a brief which has already been filed with your committee.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. If it has already been filed, we will receive the statement.
Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, we have been sitting here now for a couple of days, and we would like to be able to proceed to present this to the committee.
Mr. RUTHERFORD. Noticing that this is more or less in support of the two national organizations that appeared here, and also restating facts that are already in the record—it is more or less the New Jersey department supporting the national organization; that is, in effect, what your statement is—if you have anything that is new, pertinent, and addressed to the national policy, I will sit here until midnight to listen to you. But I do not believe we are interested in going through a repetition of something that we already have in the record just for the benefit of the gentleman to speak. I do not mean to be rude, but I do mean to be frank.
Mr. THOMAS. It is a shame that we cannot be quite as frank. Thank
you. Mr. RUTHERFORD. You certainly have the license to submit your statement or to appear personally if you have anything additional and new to present.
We thank you very much, gentlemen, for your appearance today. (Statement and brief referred to follow :) Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, we represent the Department of New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. My name is Arthur Morin, senior vice department commander, and my colleagues are Ben Thomas, adjutant quartermaster, and Albert Gifford, Camden County veteran
We wish to thank you and the members of your committee for the privilege of making a few remarks in support of the written brief which has been filed with this commitee. In that document we stressed the advisability of maintaining the precedent set 100 years ago when national cemeteries were established. We strongly recommend every effort be made to this end and ways and means be provided to support the expression of gratitude made by the American people for their soldier dead.
As indicated in the brief, it has been suggested by the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of the Army, 40 million eligibles will be involved and we are led to believe by this connotation large sums of money will be expended. We do not subscribe to these estimated figures in general nor to the 40 million eligibles in particular. We respectfully draw attention to the figures to be found on page 12, Committee Print 15 "Data on National Cemeteries,” dated February 26, 1962, in which is set forth statistics showing in the area of 21 national cemeteries there were 30,500 veteran deaths within 50 miles of a national cemetery and of these 30,500 deaths there were 12,275 interments in a national cemetery. These official figures do not seem to support the contention of the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of the Army relative to the number of eligibles who will seek interment in national cemeteries.
It is probable the base figures will be further reduced because of the number of veterans who will be unable to meet the requirements for interment in a national cemetery due largely to the character of their discharge. As this limitation will apply primarily to the basic figure of 22 million veterans, it is reasonable to suppose the number of dependent interments will likewise be reduced, too. Having faith in the future of this Nation and the expansion of its economic potential, we can assume, judging from past performances, through the combined efforts of organized labor and industry, there will prevail a period of self reliance, supported by the widespread availability of retirement, hospitalization programs, and death benefits. It is obvious this condition must relieve some of the anticipated pressure with which we are now dealing. There is unanimity of opinion the deceased veteran must be buried.
And we are in accord with the thought that to do this considerable sums must be spent. It might be well to consider this war aftermath as part of its cost and to realize such expenditures continue long after the guns have stopped talking Too, in the years to come, circumstances may force a change in the concept of the method to be used in the disposal of all of our dead.
In conclusion, we again respectfully suggest to this committee, the Congress of the United States specifically, and by legislation if necessary, set down a policy stating categorically, national cemeteries shall be created and existing national cemeteries shall be expanded where and when the need is shown. We further respectfully suggest the eligibility for burial in national cemeteries be restricted to honorably discharged war veterans, their wives, and minor children.
We again thank the committee for its indulgence and for the courtesy shown us in this presentation.
BRIEF SUBMITTED BY VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES,
DEPARTMENT OF NEW JERSEY, TRENTON
BEVERLY NATIONAL CEMETERY
In presenting this brief on behalf of the Department of New Jersey, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, we wish to express to the honorable members of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs our thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to present our sincere, honest, and considered opinions relative to the matter now pending before this body. We urge your serious attention to the problem facing us not only as veterans but as citizens of a great Republic to which we have pledged “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” We are sure when all the returns are in, we can depend on a just and honorable settlement which will be mutually satisfactory.
Of necessity we speak for our own State of New Jersey, but in doing so we are mindful of our sister States where the problem is also acute and of an urgent nature. The only active U.S. National Cemetery in New Jersey is located in the town of Beverly and it was placed in full commission in the year 1864 having been operative actively ever since. It now comprises 65 acres in the county of Burlington and as this is written, the record shows there have been 21,005 interments there. Also as of now 8,115 graves are being held for the interment of the