1 1 (April 15, 2020)

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              Researh Sevice

The National Cemetery Administration and

Department of Defense Response to COVID-

19 Regarding Funerals and Military Honors

Updated April 15, 2020

The National Cemetery Administration (NCA), part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is
responsible for providing interment benefits to eligible veterans and dependents and for administering
America's national veterans' cemeteries. Veteran benefits for interment in a national cemetery include the
gravesite and grave liner, opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, U.S. burial
flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate, and the perpetual care of the gravesite. These benefits are
provided at no cost to the family.
NCA operates 142 national cemeteries and 133 soldiers' lots and monuments sites in 40 states and Puerto
Rico. Over 4 million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in one of NCA's
sites. As localities grapple with the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), NCA has
temporarily adjusted its procedures regarding burials scheduled to take place in a national cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC), is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DOD),
Office of Army Cemeteries, and not NCA. It sits on 639 acres of land near Washington, DC and is the
final resting spot for nearly 400,000 active duty servicetmembcrs. veerans. and teir farnilics. lntcrrcnt in
ANC is restricted to certain eligible veterans and their dependents, and is considered the mnost prestigious
veterans cemettry in the nation. in response to the spread of COVID-.19 ANC has also adjusted its
procedures for visitation and interments. Both VA and DOD have also made alterations to the rendering of
military funeral honors.

NCA Cemetery Operating Status
In a March 20 press release, NCA announced that, beginning March 23, VA national cemeteries will
remain open for interments for veterans and eligible individuals but will adjust overall operations. As of
April 15, these adjustments include the following:

                                                             Congressional Research Service

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