S.D. State Veterans Cemetery to open in spring

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — About $700,000 has been raised in cash and commitments toward a $3 million trust that will help fund the new State Veterans Cemetery being built at Sioux Falls, a South Dakota official told lawmakers Thursday.

State Veterans Affairs deputy secretary Aaron Pollard said the cemetery is designed to last 100 to 150 years and is scheduled to open next spring.

There will be 620 burial crypts installed as part of the first phase. He said the crypts are designed for two caskets so that a veteran and spouse can be interred atop one another.

Other options include in-ground burial of ashes, columbaria for storing urns of ashes, and a memorial wall along an area where ashes can be scattered.

Pollard gave an update to the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee. The Legislature established the cemetery in 2018.

He said more than 40 veterans who have passed were already on a list. The majority had been cremated, while some will be disinterred and re-buried, and there will be at least one new burial, according to Pollard.

The cemetery also received $150,000 from the Legislature for the current budget year.

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