Fort Snelling has one of the few cemeteries for veterans in Minnesota.
Minnesota veterans lack options for their final resting places. This past legislative session, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature provided new funding for another state veteran’s cemetery in southeastern Minnesota.
Currently, southeastern Minnesota veterans only have access to the Fort Snelling or Little Falls cemetery sites, both of which are at least two hours away. The lack of nearby options leads many families to bury their loved ones at private cemeteries or churches. Historic Fort Snelling has more than 180,000 internments and will likely reach capacity in the next 50 years, meaning Minnesota needs additional space for veterans soon.
The funding will allow a new cemetery to open during the winter of 2015. Generously, Fillmore County has donated 153 acres for the cemetery – reducing the cost to Minnesota taxpayers. The new site will provide space for more than 50,000 veterans. And there’s definitely a need for the space. Right now, there are over 39,000 veterans within a 75-mile radius of Preston, Minnesota.
The new site also will help businesses in the area, creating new jobs, while honoring veterans. As visitors come to pay their respects, many businesses – such as restaurants, floral shops and hotels – will be able to attract new customers and guests.
Governor Dayton remains committed to supporting veterans now and in the future. And this new cemetery site will help us remember and honor the sacrifices that American’s armed forces make for all of us.