DFW National Cemetery | Honoring Military Veterans
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
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.
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.
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
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".
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.
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.
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.
"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.
© 2011 Country Sunshine