Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Hidden Heroes
Caregiver Journey Map Campaign for Inclusive Care

VA National Cemetery Administration Tributes for Lost Loved Ones

VA National Cemetery Administration Tributes for Lost Loved Ones

VA Adds New Features on Veterans Legacy Memorial Website in Time for Memorial Day

By Jim Theres

In time for Memorial Day 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) has upgraded the capabilities of the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) website. The new VLM experience includes a complete redesign for a fresh look, better usability, and more ways to submit content. And for the first time, VLM visitors may upload photos and documents to a Veteran’s VLM page.

The Veterans Legacy Memorial website is the nation’s first digital platform dedicated entirely to the memory of the 3.7 million Veterans interred in VA national cemeteries. Launched in 2019, the site gives every Veteran interred in a VA national cemetery his or her own dedicated web page, with information such as dates of birth and death, military branch, highest rank held, conflicts in which the Veteran served, and significant military awards received. The site also includes headstone photographs and mapped locations for most Veterans, with more being added every day. Last May, family, friends, and visitors gained the ability to leave “Tributes” or comments on a Veteran’s personal page.

Coming this month, visitors to VLM will be able to submit photos and biographical summaries of a Veteran’s life, along with historical documents such as award citations, letters, and newspaper clippings. Another feature will allow visitors to follow their Veteran’s page and receive email alerts when new content is posted.

In the past year, more than 15,000 tributes have been shared on Veterans’ VLM pages. The site has become a place for families, friends, and fellow Veterans to remember those who have gone before them. For many families, it has become a way to show the impact a Veteran has had on their lives long after their military service had ended, as we see in this tribute to a Veteran interred at Puerto Rico National Cemetery:

“Grandpa, thanks for everything. For providing for a family and bringing us so much happiness. For always taking care of us until your last breath. For always having a smile and laughing at your grandchildren. We love you and we thank you so much not only for your years of service to the country but to your family. Love you grandpa.”

All content submitted to VLM is reviewed by Veterans Legacy Memorial administrators before being posted to the site to ensure dignity and decorum consistent with VA national cemetery standards. Visitors to the site can also flag any questionable content for further review by administrators.

The National Cemetery Administration operates 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 43 states and Puerto Rico. For Veterans not buried in a VA national cemetery, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, online at https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/ or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.