RADCLIFF, Ky. (WTVQ) – This week, WWII Navy veteran Daniel E. Dowdle became the 16,000th interment in the 17-year history of Kentucky’s state veterans cemeteries.
“We are deeply honored and humbled to provide a secure, dignified, and sacred place for so many veterans,” said Keith L. Jackson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. “The staff at our cemeteries work very hard to ensure our veterans cemeteries are built and maintained to the highest standards. For beauty, for dignity, for security, I would rate our cemeteries as high as any state or federal veterans cemeteries in the country.”
The very first interment, that of Staff Sgt. Lemuel Graham, took place on March 1, 2004, at the then new Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville.
The goal of KDVA’s Cemetery Program was to build five state veterans cemeteries across Kentucky, spaced so that every veteran’s loved ones would be within 75 miles of a secure, honorable, dignified place to rest.
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery (KVC) Central, in Radcliff, opened in 2007; KVC North, in Williamstown, opened in 2008; KVC North East, in Grayson, opened in 2010; and KVC South East opened in Hyden in 2018.
“Our state veterans cemeteries are a point of pride for Kentucky,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “They are tangible proof of not only how much we value and honor our veterans, but the meticulous care and pride Kentuckians take in building to last, and building to please the eye.”
Kentucky’s state veterans cemeteries have interred veterans from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans who received the Medal of Honor, and active-duty service members killed in action. Each and every one receives full military honors at interment. KDVA maintains funds in its Burial Honors Program to ensure that.