Headstones and Markers
Veterans, active duty service members, and retired Reservists and National Guard service members, are eligible for an inscribed headstone or marker for their grave at any cemetery — national, State Veterans, or private. VA will deliver a headstone or marker at no cost, anywhere in the world. For eligible Veterans whose deaths occurred on or after Nov.1, 1990, VA may provide a government headstone or marker even if the grave is already marked with a private one. Spouses and dependent children are eligible for a government headstone or marker only if they are buried in a national or State Veterans cemetery. Flat markers are available in bronze, granite or marble. Upright headstones come in granite or marble. In national cemeteries, the style chosen will be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial.
Headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and year of birth and death. They also may be inscribed with other optional information, including an authorized emblem of belief and, space permitting, additional text including military rank; war service such as “World War II;” complete dates of birth and death; military awards; military organizations; civilian or Veteran affiliations; and personalized words of endearment.
“In Memory Of” Markers
VA provides memorial headstones and markers with “In Memory Of” as the first line of inscription, to memorialize those whose remains have not been recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science or cremated and scattered. Eligibility is the same as for regular headstones and markers. There is no fee when the “In Memory Of” marker is placed in a national cemetery. The installation fees for Memorials delivered to a private cemetery are the responsibility of the applicant.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
Presidential Memorial Certificates are issued upon request to recognize the United States military service of honorably discharged deceased Veterans. Next of kin, relatives and other loved ones may apply for a certificate by mailing, e-mailing, or faxing a completed and signed VA Form 40-0247 dated 5/20/13 or later, along with a copy of the Veterans military discharge documents (DD214) and a copy of the death certificate. Please be sure to provide a copy of the service members DD Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) with each request.
VA will furnish a U.S. burial flag to memorialize:
- Veterans who served during wartime or after Jan. 31,1955.
- Veterans who were entitled to retired pay for service in the Reserve or National Guard, or would have been entitled if over age 60.
- Members or former members of the Selected Reserve who served their initial obligation, or were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or died while a member of the Selected Reserve.
Your funeral director will assist with applying for the flag at time of arrangements.
Military Funeral Honors
Upon request, Department of Defense will provide military funeral honors consisting of folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of “Taps.” A funeral honors detail consists of two or more uniformed members of the armed forces, with at least one member from the deceased’s branch of service. Family members should inform their funeral director if they want military funeral honors. VA can help arrange honors for burials at VA national cemeteries. Veterans service organizations or volunteer groups may help provide honors. Your funeral director will assist you with this when arranging for the service.