Gov. Doug Burgum, along with other dignitaries, yesterday helped dedicate the new Fargo National Cemetery near Harwood, noting it continues North Dakota’s long history of honoring veterans for their military service.
“For the second time in our state’s history, we dedicate an eternal resting place as a tribute to the military veterans who have defended our freedom and upheld our most sacred values,” Burgum said. “Fifty-six thousand veterans call North Dakota home, and it’s our responsibility to honor their service and sacrifice – for some, the ultimate sacrifice. We are deeply grateful to the National Cemetery Administration, our congressional delegation and all others who worked to establish the Fargo National Cemetery, which along with the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan will give our veterans the respect and final resting place close to home that they so richly deserve.”
With more than 3,000 gravesites, the Fargo National Cemetery is the first Department of Veterans Affairs national cemetery built in North Dakota. It is part of the VA National Cemetery Administration’s Rural Initiative to provide access to VA burial benefits for veterans who live in rural areas and haven’t previously had reasonable access to a national or state veterans cemetery. North Dakota was one of only 10 states without a national cemetery.
“As we look upon this resting place, I think about how we ought to be living to honor their service,” said Senator Kevin Cramer. “The best way to remember those who offered to die for our country is to celebrate the freedoms they volunteered to give their lives to protect.”
Senator John Hoeven, Congressman Kelly Armstrong and Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, were also present.