A long-awaited veterans' cemetery for Western New York will soon be a reality. Sen. Charles Schumer announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen a site in Pembroke for the new 132-acre resting place.
The site is just north of the Thruway's Pembroke exit at 1232 Indian Falls Road. Currently the nearest veterans' cemetery to Buffalo and Rochester is in Bath, NY, a drive of more than 100 miles. The new burial plots in Genesee County will be much closer, 30 miles from Buffalo and less than 50 miles from Rochester.
The new cemetery could serve up to 96,000 veterans and family members in Western New York. The issue has been championed for years by Schumer.
“This site selection is great news for the many thousands of deserving veterans living in Buffalo, Rochester, and beyond. With this new cemetery in Pembroke, these veterans and family members will be able to have a proper military burial near their homes in Western New York, and their families will be able to pay their respects without having to travel over 100 miles – something that can be a tremendous burden for many families,” said Schumer, in a statement.
“I am pleased that after four years of hard work, we finally have a site in place. After serving our country so valiantly, and for so many years, it is only appropriate that we develop a national shrine, on a beautiful piece of land right in our backyard, for our veterans’ final resting place.”
Veterans with discharges other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children may be eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. Those who die on active duty may also be buried in a national cemetery.