A new national cemetery for veterans, primarily in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, opened this week outside of Pittsburgh.

The National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, in Washington County, began accepting applications for burial this week. Only about five acres of the site is currently open, but officials said that by 2007, the 292-acre site should be able to handle more than 15,000 gravesites and more than 4,000 locations to hold cremated remains.

Plans also call for building a public information center, an electronic gravesite locator, and a memorial walkway for visitors.

Cemetery officials said the new location will serve veterans from 19 counties in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. They estimate about 323,000 veterans live within 75 miles of the site.

For more information on services and internment at the cemetery, call (724) 746-4363. Information on veterans’ burial benefits is available online at

The cemetery is the third dedicated to veterans in Pennsylvania. New veterans cemeteries are also scheduled to open in Florida, Michigan, Georgia and California over the next two years.

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