Cemetery Burial Arrangements
The person(s) coordinating burial should contact the South Dakota Veterans Cemetery to make arrangements for burial.
A DD214, or equivalent military discharge document, must be provided to establish the veteran’s eligibility. If these documents are not available, the cemetery must be provided with sufficient military information to allow the cemetery to access VA and/or military records to establish eligibility.
Cemetery staff will set a tentative date for the committal service pending verification of service and character of discharge; and will notify the applicant when the committal service is scheduled. The proposed date and time will be approved only when the cemetery verifies eligibility and confirms the arrangements.
The cemetery can conduct seven committal services per day, Monday - Friday, every hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (3 p.m. is cremation only).
Committal services are limited to 20 minutes. All committal services should be brief and need to start on the hour at the scheduled time. Families who extend their services can greatly affect others who have scheduled services following theirs.
All committal services are held at the committal service shelter rather than at the gravesite. This ensures the family's safety and provides a fitting location for military honors and the ability of our staff to conduct cemetery operations.
The remains are removed from the committal service building for burial following the family's departure and are never left unattended by cemetery staff.
Clergy services and other arrangements are the responsibility of the family or family representative. These arrangements are normally coordinated through a funeral director.
A pre-placed graveliner is provided by the cemetery for all casket burials.
Casket gravesites are permanently marked with an upright headstone.
In-ground cremation gravesites provide a traditional burial option for cremated remains. In-ground cremation gravesites are permanently marked with an upright headstone.
The columbarium provides an above-ground option for cremated remains. Columbarium niches are permanently marked with a niche cover.
** Placement of cremated remains, either in-ground or above-ground, is determined by the next-of-kin.
A designated garden-type area where cremated remains are scattered in the landscape. A site used for the scattering of cremated remains is not individually marked, but the deceased is acknowledged on a memory wall. An individual whose ashes are scattered in the veterans cemetery may not have a memorial marker placed in the memorial section of the cemetery.
Fresh cut flowers may be placed on graves at any time. Temporary containers and water are provided in locations around the main cemetery drive. Floral items will be removed from graves by cemetery personnel as soon as they become faded or unsightly.
Artificial flowers may be placed on graves during periods specified on the Floral Regulation signs located around the main cemetery drive. Plantings, statues, vigil lights, breakable objects of any nature, or any other commemorative items are not permitted on the graves.
South Dakota Veterans Cemetery will arrange for honor guard services through our Memorial Rifle Squad and the South Dakota Military Funeral Honors Program, if this has not been arranged already through the funeral director.
**** The above processes will be used once the State Veteran’s Cemetery officially opens.