200 acres sought for new veterans' cemetery in New Mexico
SANTA FE, N.M. — A new burial site for those who served in the armed forces is needed before the Santa Fe National Cemetery reaches capacity by the mid-2020s.
The Department of Veteran Affairs' National Cemetery Administration has started a search for 200 acres or more near the northern edge of Albuquerque, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
"We are working to ensure that veterans in Albuquerque and Santa Fe will have a final resting place that commemorates their service and sacrifice to our nation," said Susan Parks, the director of Santa Fe National Cemetery.
The 84-acre Santa Fe cemetery has more than 58,000 veterans and their relatives buried there. It's expected to fill before 2030.
Parks said the new site's capacity is expected to reach about 95,000. She said the land purchase is budgeted, but funding would need to be requested for development.
Property owners can apply for consideration before Feb. 7.
The state currently has one other national cemetery in addition to Santa Fe. Efforts are underway to create four state cemeteries for veterans.
A state website says $5.7 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs went toward one of the cemeteries, which is expected to open in Fort Stanton in the fall.