PORTLAND, Ore. – Willamette and Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries will resume committal services for families who are interring their loved ones on June 9.
“We are pleased to resume committal services and military funeral honors at Willamette and Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries,” said Cemetery Director Peter Sardo. “We will also soon be contacting families who chose direct interments to schedule memorial services and military funeral honors, if desired. We appreciate the patience and understanding families have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic and are eager to begin returning to normal operations.”
Willamette and Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries have remained open for interments and visitation throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, as a matter of health and safety, the cemeteries began deferring committal services and military funeral honors on March 23.
Families with interments scheduled on or after June 9 will be offered the option of a committal service at the time of interment. Military funeral honors, customarily provided by the Department of Defense and volunteer honor guards, will be based on local availability.
Willamette and Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries continues to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, we will limit the number of individuals attending committal services, require all attendees to practice physical distancing between individuals not from the same household, ensure all attendees and employees wear face coverings, encourage frequent use of hand sanitizer and ask sick individuals to stay home.
In keeping with federal, state, and local guidance, committal and memorial services at Willamette and Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries will be limited to 10 family members and guests at the service. Cemetery employees, funeral home personnel and military honors providers will not count toward the family’s limit on attendees.
Families may continue to choose a direct interment without a service and opt for a memorial service later when all restrictions have been lifted.
Memorial services for Veterans and eligible family members who were interred without a committal service between March 23 and June 8 will commence in July. Cemetery representatives will be reaching out to these families in the coming weeks to discuss their options and schedule a memorial service, if desired. Families may contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office directly to schedule a memorial service after June 29.
For more information, visit the National Cemetery Adminstration (NCA) website. To make burial arrangements at Willamette or Vancouver Barracks National Cemeteries or any VA national cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117.