Honoring Those Who Served at the Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery

Saturday, November 10, 2018
For anyone lucky enough to live near a National Cemetery, a visit at any season is a humbling experience.  Whether you have a relative there (I do) or not, it only takes a second, a glimpse, to be taken in by the solemn sight of the graves of the many who served our country.  That was especially true on our recent visit last weekend when the foliage was particularly vivid, the gravestones standing out even more than normal.
The Saratoga National Cemetery was established in 1999.  In January 2002, President George W. Bush signed legislation renaming the cemetery the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.  Congressman Solomon was known as the champion of veterans' causes.  He spearheaded the effort to create the cabinet level Department of Veterans' Affairs and successfully led a drive to establish the national cemetery in which he is buried.
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The Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery is the 6th national veterans' cemetery.  The cemetery consists of 351 acres located on Duell Road in Schuylerville, not far from the Saratoga National Park.  At full capacity, the cemetery will provide burial space for 175,500 veterans and eligible dependents.  Currently approximately 18,000 are buried there, some in graves, and cremated remains in columbaria niches and in garden niches.  One article I read said that about 1500 are laid to rest each year in this sacred resting place. 

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While the foliage certainly added a level of beauty to the cemetery, that beauty is present regardless of the season.

Each year volunteers join the Wreaths Across America, a national network of volunteers, to lay wreaths on the graves.  This year that event will be held on December 14, 2019.  Last year, 3,000 volunteers signed up to help place wreaths on 12,000 graves.  The public is welcome and encouraged to help sponsor the wreaths.  One wreath is $15, 5 are $75, or 10 for $150.  For more information about sponsoring a wreath, go to: Sponsor a Wreath Across America   For information about volunteering, please check out their Wreaths Across America's Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Wreaths-Across-America-at-Saratoga-National-Cemetery
My personal family connection to the cemetery:
Married for 64 years, George was called to war 7 years after he and Harriet were married.  George spent three years on the South Pacific.  To read more about him and their very special life, check out one of my earlier blog posts: Tribute to a Very Special Veteran

Bell from the U.S.S. Saratoga

 If you've never visited the cemetery, I urge you to make time to do so.  There will be a Veteran's Day service on November 11, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.  So many have given so much to protect this country.  This Veteran's Day.....take time to remember those men and women.

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