Udall, Heinrich, Luján Announce $6.7 million for Gallup Veterans’ Cemetery
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a grant, totaling $6.69 million, to fund the construction of a veterans' cemetery in Gallup, New Mexico.
Currently, the nearest national cemetery to Gallup is located in Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, approximately 199 miles away. The lawmakers said the new cemetery will provide more convenient access and service to over 19,000 veterans and their families.
"Veterans in Gallup, Navajo, Zuni and the surrounding area have waited for a long time for this new veterans’ cemetery, and I've been proud to work with them, the congressional delegation and the state to support New Mexico’s application for funding,” said Udall. "This new cemetery will honor our state’s veterans and help ensure their families won’t have to drive hours to pay respects to their loved ones. I will continue to support additional veterans cemeteries in our state so that we can honor and respect the sacrifices our veterans made for our country."
"I'm proud to welcome this funding to build a veterans cemetery in Gallup," said Heinrich. "This new national cemetery will ensure families can visit their loved ones without the burden of traveling hundreds of miles. We should always remember and honor our nation's fallen heroes and the proud tradition of New Mexicans answering our nation's call of duty."
"New Mexico has a long and proud tradition of service in our Armed Forces, and we owe our veterans and their families a great debt,” said Luján. “It was a great burden on many families who had to travel nearly 200 miles each way to the nearest national cemetery in order to visit a departed loved one. The federal funding announced today will help us make a national veterans cemetery here in Gallup a reality, and I am pleased to have played a role in supporting this effort."
This grant is the result of a formal application submitted by the state of New Mexico earlier this month which was supported by the New Mexico Congressional delegation and will cover 100 percent of allowable costs associated with establishing the veterans' cemetery.
The grant will fund the construction of a main entrance, administration building, maintenance facility, committal shelter, 443 pre-placed crypts, 140 in-ground cremain gravesites, 400 columbarium niches, a memorial wall and walkway, roadways and supporting infrastructure.