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State Veterans Cemetery to be Established in Ardmore

September 24, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) awarded a $7,355,463 grant to the state of Oklahoma for the establishment of a State Veterans Cemetery. The cemetery will be located in Ardmore, which is in the Fourth District of Oklahoma.

“I am very encouraged to learn that Oklahoma is receiving support to construct a cemetery that brings lasting and well-deserved honor to our heroic veterans,” said Congressman Tom Cole. “The brave men and women who have defended our country deserve the utmost respect, and I am proud that Ardmore will soon serve as the final resting place for our veteran heroes. I want to recognize the dedicated efforts and attention of numerous individuals in the Ardmore community, who over many years advocated for this important project. Thank you to Ardmore City Manager J. D. Spohn, State Senator Frank Simpson, State Representative Tommy Hardin as well as former Representative Pat Ownbey and Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Homes Shawn Kirkland, Ardmore Veterans Center Administrator Marsha Huddleston and Rear Admiral Wesley Hull for their tireless work and commitment to making this happen.”

“The City of Ardmore is honored to be chosen as the site for the State Veterans Cemetery,” said Ardmore City Manager J. D. Spohn. “As a Marine Corps veteran myself, I take great pride in working with federal, state and local officials to help make this project a reality. The City appreciates the efforts of the elected officials and citizen groups working together for several years to get to this day".  

“I am very excited that Oklahoma has received this wonderful gift that will help construct the first State Veterans Cemetery to be operated by the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Oklahoma State Senator Frank Simpson. “We will be able to provide our state’s veterans with a beautiful final resting place that honors their service and their sacrifice to our great nation. I want to thank my fellow veterans, the City of Ardmore, the Oklahoma and U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Congressman Tom Cole and his great staff, my good friend and former Representative Pat Ownbey and the many local citizens who advocated on behalf of our heroes.”

“The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs prides itself in providing every service we can to our nation's heroes,” said Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Homes Shawn Kirkland. “The construction of this cemetery is another way for us to honor these Veterans and their service to our great country. We look forward to being able to provide a final resting place that represents the sacrifice these soldiers made and honor the public service of these great Veterans.”

“It is great news that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has approved funding for the final resting place for America’s heroes who have provided the freedoms and liberties that all Americans enjoy,” said Rear Admiral Wesley Hull. “I am honored to have worked on this program. The completion of the Ardmore Veterans Cemetery will commemorate the valor and patriotism of America’s veterans who have contributed so much to the cause of world peace and the preservation of our way of life. I extend my thanks to Congressman Cole and his staff for all the support they have provided. The Veterans Cemetery will be a place of honor to show the respect that our community, state and the nation have for the American Veteran and their families.”

The NCA grant will fund the construction of 1,104 pre-placed crypts, 434 cremains gravesites, 600 columbarium niches, a main entrance, an administration building, a maintenance facility, roads, an assembly area, landscaping, a memorial walkway and supporting infrastructure on approximately 12 acres, enabling the cemetery to provide service for approximately 25,571 veterans and their eligible family members.

Learn more about the grant awarded for the State Veterans Cemetery in Ardmore here.