Fargo National Cemetery grand opening
HARWOOD, ND --After months of planning and construction, the first-ever National Cemetery in North Dakota is here.
A crowd of veterans, dignitaries and the community witnessed a day that will go down in North Dakota history: the grand opening of the Fargo National Cemetery, the first in the state, on Saturday, Sept. 7.
"This cemetery today is one way that we say thank you and honor you for your service and your sacrifice, cause without your service and your sacrifice, we wouldn't have a country," said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
"It's just a great honor and the way we're represented today by all the people that came today and all the senators and representatives, it just shows how important it is to all the veterans," said Dan Stenvold, an Army veteran.
The National Cemetery is located off of County Road 20, next to the Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church in Harwood.
It will serve as a final resting place for more than 30,000 veterans and their spouses over the next 10 years, including Vietnam veteran Russel Stabler, who said he'll be with his brothers and sisters in arms.
There's no charge to be buried here; the VA said veterans have already paid a price.
"Thank you for honoring both those who served but also remember not to forget and take care of and honor those who are left behind," said U.S. Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves.
"It's a place dedicated in honor of our community where we can remember the sacrifices that our service members and families make every day, and a place they can eventually be at peace."
The first burials are expected sometime in October.