October 05, 2020

Van Hollen, Cardin, Hoyer Applaud More Than $7.8 Million for Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery Expansion

Long-Sought Resources Will Support Changes to Honor the Memory of Maryland’s Veterans

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representative Steny Hoyer (all D-Md.) applauded the recent award of $7,865,950 in federal funding for a significant expansion of the Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA). This grant will fund the construction of 1,302 in-ground cremation sites, 450 columbarium niches, creation and maintenance of buildings, road improvements, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure on more than 16 acres, enabling the cemetery to provide continued service for approximately 332,460 veterans and their eligible family members. 

“For decades, Cheltenham Cemetery has ensured Maryland veterans are given an honorable burial. With these funds, Cheltenham can continue fulfilling their mission to commemorate our veterans’ service and sacrifice by expanding and maintaining the cemetery,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This investment will help make certain these heroic men and women can be recognized for generations to come – and ensure their families are given a proper place to commemorate their loved ones.” 

“For generations, veterans have made the invaluable sacrifice to keep our nation safe here at home and abroad.  As they served our country, it is now our duty to honor them,” said Senator Cardin. “This award to expand Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery will rightfully commemorate the lives of the brave heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice.” 

“I’m pleased the Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery will receive this important funding to honor our state’s veterans,” said Congressman Hoyer. “These funds will allow the Cemetery to continue providing services to thousands of veterans and their families, ensuring our veterans will be honored properly. I will continue to work with my colleagues to support our veterans and their families.” 

The award will help complete a project long-sought by Maryland’s veterans and their families. The lawmakers have fought for federal investments to expand and maintain the Cheltenham Cemetery, successfully securing more than $8 million last year in addition to the award announced today. 

The VA Veterans Cemetery Grants Program (VCGP) is designed to complement the 138 VA national cemeteries. Since its inception in 1978, the VCGP has awarded grants totaling more than $862 million to establish, expand, improve, or operate and maintain 117 state and tribal Veterans cemeteries. These grant-funded cemeteries provided more than 39,000 burials in 2019.