Togus National Cemetery in Maine prior to repairs. Headstones had sunk and shifted over time.
Headstones at Togus have been straightened, height-adjusted, and cleaned. In addtion, the cemetery's lawn was replanted.
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA), part of the Department of Veterans Affairs, identified more than 170,000 gravesites and 49 historic monuments needing repair or renovation in 19 veterans’ cemeteries around the country. Drawing from a $50 million allocation of Recovery funding, NCA began to award contracts in fall 2009 to carry out the work, giving preference to veteran-owned/operated businesses.
One of those businesses, Consigli Construction Co., received a $96,000 award in January 2010. The company has now completed its project to re-caulk, reseal, and recondition two historic monuments – one to soldiers, the other to sailors – at Togus National Cemetery in Maine.
Veterans of the Land, Inc. won a $1.8 million contract to raise, realign, and clean headstones and markers and level sunken graves in Riverside National Cemetery in California. The work is focused on three of the cemetery’s older sections, involving 9,500 graves spread across 9.25 acres. The work was completed at the end of November 2010.
As of December, the VA has awarded $1.825 billion – 100 percent – of its total allocation of Recovery funds. According to the VA, veteran-owned/operated small business awards account for approximately 75 percent of all VA Recovery contracts, and about 73 percent of those funds went to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Cleaning mold from Union Soldiers Monument (1906) at Knoxville National Cemetery in Tennessee.
NCA manages more than 900 historic monuments and memorials, and more than a third are 100 years old or more. Most of the 49 monuments that will be restored “commemorate Civil War human loss, both Union and Confederate,” according to an NCA description of the project. “These monuments are the oldest and most significant monuments in NCA’s national cemeteries and many are in poor condition.”
NCA is responsible for maintaining 2.9 million gravesites at 131 veterans cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico
As part of maintaining general efficiency of operations at cemeteries, the $50 million Recovery funding also underwrites road and building repairs, equipment purchases, and energy and water conservation projects. .
Photos courtesy: National Cemetery Administration
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