Dedication of 318-Acre Cape Canaveral National Cemetery In Mims Set For Friday
By Don Murphy, Cemetery Director // November 18, 2015
dedication ceremony is free, open to public
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues a proud legacy as we dedicate Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Friday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m.
The event signifies our nation’s on-going commitment to care, in perpetuity, for the men and women who served with distinction in the U.S. armed forces.
In President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he said, “from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.”
During the ceremony, Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, Ronald E. Walters will renew President Lincoln’s pledge to honor the unbroken line of American citizens who served and sacrificed in defense of our nation.
It is a pledge the current and future employees of Cape Canaveral National Cemetery will renew daily as they provide each Veteran’s final benefit with the full dignity and solemnity that befits great service to our country.
VA is expected to complete an early turnover portion of the property along U.S. Highway 1 which will be used for in-ground casket and cremation interments as early as December 2015. This phase of construction is anticipated to provide burial options for 10 years.
The entire project for the new 318-acre cemetery will serve the burial needs of more than 163,000 Veterans in the cemetery’s service area for the next 100 years.
When complete, Cape Canaveral National Cemetery will emerge as a national shrine and a centerpiece for the community. It will serve as a gathering place on special occasions, especially Memorial Day, to pay tribute to the brave men and women who served our country during times of war and peace.
The cemetery will also be a focal point for greater volunteerism in the community. Veterans and non-Veterans, civic groups and youth organizations will contribute toward fulfilling our nation’s final promise to maintain this cemetery as a national shrine.
The opportunity to honor the service of Veterans is a sacred trust – a part of VA’s historic mission, found in the words of President Lincoln, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”
I am indebted to the Veterans and civic groups that have been a vital part of our efforts to date, and look forward to forging more partnerships with the community moving forward. We are honored to host this dedication ceremony, and hope you will join us as we dedicate this sacred place to honor and remember our nation’s Veterans, their spouses and their families.
The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the event site. Attendees are encouraged to carpool and arrive before 1:30 p.m. For more information, CLICK HERE call 321-383-2638.
ABOVE MAP: The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is located at 5525 U.S. Highway 1 in Mims, Florida.
Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Don W. Murphy was named Director of the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, effective Nov. 2, 2014. He will be responsible for all burial, maintenance and administrative operations at the new cemetery when it opens.
Prior to this assignment, Murphy was the Deputy Director of Memorial Programs Service (MPS) in Washington from April 2014. He held the title of Chief of Operations from March 2006 before it was re-designated as Deputy Director.
As Deputy Director, he was responsible for the daily operations of the worldwide Headstone and Marker Program, with headquarters in Washington and satellite offices in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Elwood, Illinois; and St. Louis. Murphy was also responsible for the Presidential Memorial Certificate Program in Washington and the First Notice of Death Office in St. Louis.
He began working with MPS in February 1996. He served as site supervisor for the Nashville Processing Site from May 1997 until March 2001. Murphy joined the National Cemetery Administration in May 1992 as a Clerk Typist at the Nashville National Cemetery and subsequently held positions as Cemetery Administrator and Cemetery Caretaker.
Murphy is a U.S. Army Veteran. He served with the 101st Airborne Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.