Gov. Doug Burgum today helped dedicate the new Fargo National Cemetery near Harwood, noting it continues North Dakota’s long history of honoring veterans for their military service.
“For the second time in our state’s history, we dedicate an eternal resting place as a tribute to the military veterans who have defended our freedom and upheld our most sacred values,” Burgum said. “Fifty-six thousand veterans call North Dakota home, and it’s our responsibility to honor their service and sacrifice – for some, the ultimate sacrifice. We are deeply grateful to the National Cemetery Administration, our congressional delegation and all others who worked to establish the Fargo National Cemetery, which along with the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan will give our veterans the respect and final resting place close to home that they so richly deserve.”
With more than 3,000 gravesites, the Fargo National Cemetery is the first Department of Veterans Affairs national cemetery built in North Dakota. It is part of the VA National Cemetery Administration’s Rural Initiative to provide access to VA burial benefits for veterans who live in rural areas and haven’t previously had reasonable access to a national or state veterans cemetery. North Dakota was one of only 10 states without a national cemetery.
Burgum and the state Legislature took several actions this year to support veterans and make North Dakota an even more military-friendly state, including:
- Exempting military retirement benefits from state income tax for retired military personnel and their spouses.
- Providing funds to defray the cost of burying the spouses and dependents of military veterans at the state Veterans Cemetery with their loved ones, where they belong.
- Providing occupational license reciprocity for eligible trailing spouses of military personnel to help keep military families together and address the state’s workforce shortage.