National Cemetery Administration
Ft. Devens Army Post Cemetery Transferred to VA
September 18, 2020
WASHINGTON — The VA's National Cemetery Administration (NCA) today took over operation of the Army cemetery at Ft. Devens in Devens, Massachusetts.
"We are proud to welcome Ft. Devens Post Cemetery into the NCA family," said Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves. "Families should be assured that their loved ones resting there will be cared for with the dignity and respect that is befitting their service and sacrifice to our Nation."
The cemetery is open for interments, however, in order to maximize existing space, it will only offer in-ground interment of cremains. It will also accommodate subsequent casket interments in existing gravesites. Starting today, the VA's eligibility criteria – which is more expansive than the Army's – will apply to those wishing to be buried at Ft. Devens Post Cemetery.
Military camps were established at the location of present-day Fort Devens during the colonial period and the Civil War, but the modern Fort Devens traces its history to a cantonment established in 1917 to train troops for World War I. The post cemetery was established in 1931 and moved to its present location in 1938. Ft. Devens ceased to be an active duty post in 1996, and now serves as a reserve training area. The cemetery contains more than 1,200 gravesites including U.S. military personnel, civilians, foreign military POWs, and unknowns. It will be administered by Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts.
Ft. Devens Post Cemetery was transferred to NCA by the Department of the Army in fulfillment of Executive Order 13781 and the VA's own Agency Reform plan. Since June 2019 the Army has transferred nine cemeteries to the NCA. Prior to today, Ft. Lawton Post Cemetery in Washington and Ft. Missoula Post Cemetery in Montana were transferred to NCA in June and October 2019, respectively. Ft. Sheridan National Cemetery in Illinois and Ft. Douglas Post Cemetery in Utah were transferred in December 2019, and Vancouver Barracks National Cemetery in Washington was transferred in March 2020. Ft. Worden Post Cemetery in Washington, Ft. Stevens National Cemetery in Oregon, and Benicia Arsenal Post Cemetery in California were transferred to NCA earlier this month. Two more Army cemeteries, Ft. McClellan Post Cemetery in Alabama and the Enemy Prisoner of War Cemetery located at Ft. McClellan, are both scheduled to be transferred later this year.
For more information about Ft. Devens Post Cemetery, contact Massachusetts National Cemetery at (508) 563-7113. For more information about the transfer of other Army Cemeteries, contact NCA Public Affairs at (202) 632-8035. To make burial arrangements at a VA national cemetery, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117.