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Grant Will Fund Vermont Veterans' Cemetery Improvements

Vermont’s Veterans’ Cemetery is getting larger and adding some features designed to help people find friends or loved ones buried there. A new grant that will fund the improvements.
The cemetery in Randolph Center is running out of space. Groundskeeper Bob Durkee and his crew have taken care of the scenic, pastoral property since its inception in 1993, mowing, tending flowers, and maintaining the roads.

“We trim the trees, we do all aspects of taking care of the cemetery. You know, burials on a daily basis which range anywhere from one to four depending on the day,” he said.

The number of burials is growing to over 100 so far this year. A new $5.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of veterans’ Affairs will add over 1,600 plots. There will be a second entrance so that people who wish to visit grave sites during a funeral will not interrupt the service. Durkee says when they do arrive, it will be much easier to find the friends or loved ones who have made their final rest here.

“It’ll have an electronic kiosk in it. They’ll put the person’s name in and it will bring up options for you to choose the right Mr. Jones and then it will spit out a paper map to the printer," he said.

Durkee says there will be a columbarium, a storage wall for urns containing cremated remains.

“I think that the columbariums are going to become very popular once people see what they look like and how they work and everything, and it makes it easier for you to find your friend or loved one because they are right there on the wall," he said.

There will also be a new memorial walkway. Construction is scheduled to begin next month.