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The Cortland Rural Cemetery is honored to be the final resting place of hundreds upon hundreds of American veterans. We take seriously our role in memorializing the lives and service of these brave men and women ~ representing all branches of the armed services and having served in all American wars and conflicts the Revolutionary War onward. And we offer the following information to veterans and their family members, for your convenience and information.


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a range of benefits relating to headstones, markers, and medallions for qualified veterans. The excerpt

below from the VA website provides a general summary of such benefits, but interested parties are encouraged to visit the VA website (click here) for the most current and complete information ~ and to download applicable application forms and instructions.

Please also note that, while the VA may provide qualified veterans with free headstones, markers, and medallions ~ private cemeteries (including the CRC) do charge a nominal installation fee; please contact the cemetery office to learn more about pricing.

Excerpt from US Dept of Veterans Affairs website:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.

     For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to the privately purchased headstone.

       Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.

     When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.

     Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.

     Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.


The Cortland Rural Cemetery allows and, indeed, encourages the placement of American flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. While limited financial and manpower prevent us from being able to erect flags, we do offer the following comments in support of this important tradition:

  • A limited supply of flags will be available at the cemetery office for any individuals who wish to mark a veteran's grave.

  • Any individuals or groups of volunteers (including veterans groups, schools, scouts, etc.) who are interested in marking multiple veterans' graves with flags are encouraged to contact the CRC for flags and tips on locating veterans graves. (Each year, our volunteer board members donate their time to mark as many as they can ~ and will welcome the help!)

  • The cemetery must, of course, reserve the right to collect flags in the weeks following the aforementioned holidays. Any flags that can be re-used the following year, will be added to our collection.

  • Donations of small, wooden-dowel flags are greatly appreciated and will be put to good use, as our supply of flags does deteriorate over time.

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