Presidential certificate available to honor memory of deceased veterans
By MARSHA KEEFER | Beaver County Times, Pa. | Published: August 22, 2018
BEAVER, Pa. (Tribune News Service) — Our country honors the memory of deceased veterans with an embossed certificate signed by the president, but receipt is not automatic. A request must be made by family or friends.
The recognition has been offered for more than 50 years, but many families may not know about it, said Jerry Fisher of Brighton Township, a Vietnam-era veteran who shared information about the program with The Times.
President John F. Kennedy initiated the Presidential Memorial Certificate in 1962 to express the nation's gratitude for service in the Armed Forces. All deceased veterans honorably discharged from active duty are eligible. Certain National Guard and reserve members may also qualify. Excluded are convicted sex offenders or those who committed a state or federal capital crime.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs administers the certificate program through the National Cemetery Association.
The free, gold-embossed certificate includes the Great Seal of the United States, name of the deceased veteran and this text in calligraphic script, followed by the president's signature:
"The United States of America honors the memory of (veteran's name).
"This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States."
A deceased veteran's next of kin, relatives, friends or an authorized service representative such as a funeral director acting on their behalf may request a certificate.
Applicants must sign a form and provide photocopies of the veteran's official military discharge document (DD-214 form) and death certificate.
Forms are available on the National Cemetery Administration website at www.cem.va.gov/pmc.asp or by calling 800-827-1000. Certificates also may be requested in person at any Veterans Administration Regional Office.
Completed applications can be mailed or faxed.
The mailing address is: Presidential Memorial Certificate (41B3), Department of Veterans Affairs, 5109 Russell Road; Quantico, VA 22134-3903. Fax number is 800-455-7143.
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