The nation will soon honor those in the military who fell in defense of the United States on Memorial Day. On that day, veterans will march in parades and family members will gather at military cemeteries across the country to remember the man or woman who, in President Abraham Lincoln’s words, gave their “last full measure of devotion.” (These are the wars in which the most Americans died.)
To determine America’s 15 largest military cemeteries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed military cemetery information from the National Cemetery Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Cemeteries were ordered based on the total number of gravesites as of May 2022. Those estimates came from the NCA’s Nationwide Gravesite Locator tool and the online grave database Find A Grave. All other data came chiefly from the NCA.
With more than 400,000 graves, Arlington National Cemetery is by far the largest military cemetery in the U.S. Arlington is visited by 3 million people a year. It was established in 1864 because the surrounding resting places filled to capacity from the war fatalities. The cemetery was created on the grounds of the former plantation home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Arlington is the biggest military cemetery in the U.S. but not the oldest on this list. That distinction belongs to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, located in St. Louis, which opened in 1863. Not on the list, but considerably older, the oldest military cemetery in the U.S. is the West Point Post Cemetery, established in 1817.
Five military cemeteries on the list were established in the 1930s, and three in the 1970s. The newest is the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona that opened in 1989. California is home to the most military cemeteries on the list with three, followed by two each in Texas and New York.
By acreage, the largest is the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, at 1,237 acres. (These are the states where the most Americans serve in the military.)
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