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DFW National Cemetery | Honoring Military Veterans

Updated on May 24, 2016
Avenue of the Flags at DFW National Cemetery
Avenue of the Flags at DFW National Cemetery | Source

Dallas-Fort Worth National Veterans Cemetery

Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery is an amazingly beautiful and quiet final resting place for our nation's veterans. It is a place to honor the men and women of our military, both past and present. As a National Cemetery, it is also a reminder of the sacrifices made by our nation's military defending our freedom.

Whether you are attending a committal service, visiting the grave of a loved one, or honoring our military on a national holiday, please pause for a moment to remember that freedom isn't free.


Brief History of Veterans Cemeteries

On July 17, 1862, Congress passed legislation that authorized the President to purchase property to be used as national cemeteries. These cemeteries were for soldiers who died in service to the country. That year, 14 national cemeteries were established, and 4,473 Union soldiers from the Battle of Antietam were laid to rest in the new cemetery in Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Antietam National Cemetery
Antietam National Cemetery | Source

Since that time, many more cemeteries have been added to the National Cemetery system. There are currently 147 national cemeteries, with more than 3.7 million people, including Veterans of every war and conflict, buried in them. Of these cemeteries, 131 of them are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs; 2 by the Department of the Army; and the remaining 14, by the Department of the Interior.

The requirements to be buried at a national cemetery has also been modified. Those who die on active duty, along with Veterans with discharges other than dishonorable, may be buried at a national cemetery. Currently, more than 22 million living Veterans have earned this honor.

Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam
Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam

While most know of the battle at Gettysburg, few know the history of this historic battle at Antietam. More than 22,000 lives were lost in a single day, making it the "bloodiest day" in US military history. This book provides all the facts - from what led to the battle, what happened during it, and the events that followed. It is a great book if you are interested in Civil War history & those buried in the national cemeteries.

 

A veteran is someone who,

at one point in his life

wrote a blank check made payable to

'The United States of America'

for an amount of

'up to and including my life'

Map Location of Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery

Located in the southwest corner of Dallas, Texas on a 638.5-acre parcel of land, the DFW National Cemetery overlooks beautiful Mountain Creek Lake. It is the 6th national cemetery in Texas, and the 118th in the national cemetery system. It was opened and dedicated in May 2000, and will eventually provide burial space for 280,000 people.

A marker2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75211, USA -
2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75211, USA
get directions

The Public Information Center at DFW National Cemetery

Burial Site Locations & Committal Services Information

If you are visiting Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery for the first time, you may wish to visit the Public Information Center (PIC). The PIC is located just inside the cemetery entrance. Parking for the visitor center is available in front of the PIC building. If you are attending a committal service, you'll need to park in the lanes behind the building.

Public Information Center at DFW National Cemetery
Public Information Center at DFW National Cemetery | Source

The Public Information Center has an automated kiosk outside the office. The kiosk contains the names of veterans and their eligible dependents buried at the cemetery. Enter the name of the decedent, and you'll receive a printed map with their name and their grave location.

Volunteers staff the Public Information Center Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday, from noon to 4:00 p.m. If you need help locating a grave, a Center Volunteer will direct you to the correct location.

If you are attending a committal service, you will meet at the Public Information Center. A cemetery representative will be there to direct you to the correct lane behind the building. All vehicles proceed to the designated committal shelter at the same time.

Events at DFW National Cemetery

Flag and Event Schedule

On certain national holidays, DFW National Cemetery lines the roadways & drives with 190 United States flags. This is called the "Avenue of The Flags".

Veteran's Day 2011 at DFW National Cemetery
Veteran's Day 2011 at DFW National Cemetery | Source

The Cemetery also holds ceremonies to honor our Veterans, both living and deceased. You cannot help but feel an incredible sense of patriotism if you visit DFW Cemetery on one of the following holidays:

  • May - Armed Forces Day; Memorial Day
  • June - Flag Day
  • July - Independence Day
  • November 11th - Veterans Day
  • December - Wreaths Across America: A program to "Remember our Veterans, Honor those who serve, and Teach future generations about the value of freedom". Wreaths are placed on as many graves as sponsorship allows.

To sponsor a wreath: visit Wreaths Across America

If you wish to attending one of the events at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, plan to arrive early. Hundreds of people attend, and it will take some time to find a place to park and walk to the assembly area. You may bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on, and bottled water to drink. Please, leave your pets at home!

Memorial Day Ceremony

Source

Monuments & Memorials

The DFW National Cemetery features a memorial walkway and assembly area lined with a variety of memorials that honor America's veterans, donated by various organizations. Most of these commemorate events and troops of the 20th century wars. The assembly area is where most of the major events, such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day are held.

Committal Ceremonies

Getting to the Committal Shelters

If you are attending a committal service, you will meet in the lanes at the back of the Public Information Center. All vehicles then proceed at the same time to an assigned Committal Shelter for the ceremony. Services are only allowed 30 minutes of time, and are coordinated by the Cemetery Representative.

Committal shelter at DFW National Cemetery
Committal shelter at DFW National Cemetery | Source

A hearse will lead the procession, bringing the casket or urn to the shelter. An honor guard consisting of members of the service from which the Veteran served will guard & salute the casket/urn. After the casket or urn is escorted into the shelter, and the family is seated, you will be invited into the shelter for the service.

1st Cavalry Military Escort

1st Cavalry Military Escort
1st Cavalry Military Escort | Source

Military Honors for Funerals

"Honoring Those Who Served"

The Department of Defense is responsible for providing military funeral honors. Upon a family's request, a veteran can receive military honors during the committal service. These honors include a military honor detail to escort the hearse, fold the United States burial flag, and present it to the Veteran's family. It also provides a bugler to play "Taps".

Source

These services are normally provided by local military honor groups, who are comprised of a combination of active duty members and full-time reserve members. Members of veteran service organizations sometimes participate by providing a three-person rifle detail. The Patriot Guard Riders may also provide a motorcycle escort on request.

Taps

A buglar plays Taps during a memorial service at DFW Cemetery
A buglar plays Taps during a memorial service at DFW Cemetery | Source

Floral Policies

If you want to bring flowers to a place at a grave, there are rules & regulations you must follow:

  • Fresh cut flowers can be placed on the grave at any time. Artificial flowers are only allowed from October through March

  • Flowers, decorations, flags or any other items are not allowed to be attached to the headstones, monuments, or niche covers

  • All floral items are removed from the graves by the cemetery staff when they become faded, or look bad. Otherwise, items are removed monthly. Check the signs to know when the next removal date will occur

  • Potted plants are permitted seven days before Easter & Memorial, and seven days afterwards

  • Christmas wreaths, grave blankets and flower arrangements can be put on graves beginning on December 2nd. They will be removed by January 15th

  • Temporary vases are available in bins around the cemetery. Use these for your fresh flowers, and make certain to add water! Faucets are located next to the bins.

  • No plants of any kind can be planted at the gravesite.

21 Cannon Volleyball Salute at DFW National Cemetery - Veterans Day 2009

Raising of the flags on the "Avenue of The Flag", followed by Veterans Day Ceremony and 21 cannon salute.

Dedication

This page is dedicated to my late husband - a Vietnam Veteran - who suffered for many years from post-traumatic stress disorder, and finally passed away from the effects of Agent Orange. He was buried with full military honors at DFW National Cemetery on June 18, 2010.

Ever loved; never forgotten.

My husband in front of his flag pole, 2009
My husband in front of his flag pole, 2009 | Source

Patriotic Tribute

"Avenue of The Flags" Items

If you'd like to have stationary, postage or other items with the "Avenue of The Flags", you can purchase them online in my Patriotic Design Store. It's a great way to honor our Veterans, and show your patriotism and love for America year-round.

Avenue of the Flags card
Avenue of the Flags card | Source

© 2011 Country Sunshine

If you have a veteran in your life, or have comments to share, please do! I'd love to hear from you!

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    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 4 years ago from Texas

      @anonymous: Unfortunately, you will not be allowed to go to the burial. No one - not even family members - can visit the grave site until after the casket is lowered & covered.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      AFTER THE SERVICE DO WE WAIT FOR THE BURIAL

    • LeonRusselman profile image

      LeonRusselman 4 years ago

      I am a vet. My wife and I live a few miles from Saratoga National Cemetary which is physically located adjacent to the Saratoga Battlefield National Park in Bemis Heights, NY.

      We both have relatives there and we plan on going there too when the time comes.

      It is truly a peaceful and beautiful place to visit.

      Nice work on your lens.

      Leon

      https://hubpages.com/travel/arlington-national-cem...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A beautiful tribute to your husband, thanks for sharing.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      You are right, that Tribute Video is amazing. And thank you for highlighting the 'blank check' quote. It's so true, and makes my eyes moist every time I hear or read it.

      You have beautifully honored your dear husband's sacrifice.

      Bless you for all you do for our veterans. They are so very special.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a lovely tribute in memory of your late husband. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have several friends buried at DFW cemetery. It really is a beautiful place. If you need a place to go for Memorial or Veteran's day, they put on a very moving ceremony.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      tough years during and after vietnam war. i am sorry for the families and soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the love of the country.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image
      Author

      Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      @River_Rose: Ah, but you are still married, and that is good! I hate to hear the stories from those who can't or won't try to understand what it's like! Bless you, and thanks so much for reading!

    • profile image

      River_Rose 5 years ago

      My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. We will have been married 40 years on August 12, 2012.

      Many rough years. God Bless you.

    • SlipAwayDesigns profile image

      SlipAwayDesigns 5 years ago

      As a veteran I would like to thank you for creating this lens, any attention we can bring to the service and sacrifice of our nations military AND their families is great! You got the wheels turning and I am now researching local veterans cemeteries here in Ohio, thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for honoring our veterans and veterans of war.

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      This lens sort of brought me back to Ft. Sam 9 years ago and my dad's funeral - also a Vietnam veteran. Condolences on your loss.

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