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WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up an online database containing more than 3 million records showing where veterans have been buried in national cemeteries.

The nationwide grave locator contains records of veterans and dependents buried in VA’s 120 cemeteries since the Civil War. It also has records of some burials in state veterans’ cemeteries and burials in Arlington National Cemetery from 1999 to the present.

“This advance in service culminates years of effort by VA’s national cemetery staffs to put old paper records into this database,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi, in a press release.

The records date to the establishment of the first national cemeteries during the Civil War. The Web site — www.cem.va.gov — will be updated nightly with information on burials the previous day.

The site displays the same information that visitors to national cemeteries find on kiosks or in written ledgers to locate gravesites: name, dates of birth and death, period of military service, branch of service and rank if known, the cemetery’s location and phone number, plus the grave’s precise location in the cemetery.

The information in the database comes from records of interment, which before 1994 were paper records, kept at each cemetery. VA’s interment records contain more information than what is shown on the Internet and cemetery kiosks.

Some information, such as identification of the next of kin, will not be shown to the public for privacy reasons. Immediate family members with a government identification card may request to see the full record of a burial when they visit a national cemetery.

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