Florida National Cemetery, located in Bushnell, Florida, is one of 136 national cemeteries run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s National Cemetery Administration and one of 9 national cemeteries within the state of Florida. The cemetery’s first interment was in 1988; today, today the 512-acre cemetery provides burial sites and/or memorial markers for more than 137,000 veterans and their spouses.
Though individual stone markers are uniform by design, the inscriptions provide a great deal of personalized information including: name, branch of service, conflict, rank, awards, and emblems of faith. Fifty-one memorials, most honoring soldiers and veterans of 20th-century conflicts, line the cemetery’s Memorial Pathway. The Florida National Cemetery website lists a number of notable persons, including three Medal of Honor Recipients and veterans of the Seminole War, Civil War, and Spanish-American War.
Eligibility for burial in Florida National Cemetery follows VA guidelines: “Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who have met a minimum active duty service requirement and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty, or were eligible for retired pay, may also be eligible for burial.”
Florida National Cemetery - National Cemetery Administration, http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/florida.asp#np.