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FAQs, page 2

What types of interments are allowed at the cemetery?

Casketed burials will be in pre-placed, government-furnished cement grave liners. Families may purchase a vault (sealed grave liner) at their own expense (including delivery and placement). The cemetery will prepare the site for placement (excavation) of privately purchased vaults. Cremated remains will be inurned in-ground or within the columbarium wall at the family’s election.

What can be inscribed on the headstone or niche cover?

Cemetery staff will provide you with a mockup of the grave marker at the time of the service. Uniformity of inscriptions is mandated for some fields, but permits symbolic expressions of remembrances when space permits. The family has five calendar days following the service to review the mockup for correctness and provide input before the grave maker is ordered.

How long after interment will the headstone/niche cover be in place?

It usually takes 45-60 days. You will be informed when the marker is in place.

Does the Iowa Veterans Cemetery provide military honors for the veteran?

You should start with your funeral director to make those arrangements. Federal law provides for military honors, if requested. Your funeral director should have contact numbers (including the cemetery) to make those arrangements. At least one member of the Honor Guard should be from the same service as the veteran. A veteran’s family may desire a service organization to assist the Honor Guard. Again, work with the funeral director to make your wishes known. Cemetery personnel will work cooperatively with funeral directors across the state and the Iowa Honor Guard to ensure coverage. Contact the cemetery for additional guidance.

May I make a donation to support the cemetery?

Yes. Contact the cemetery to learn how to join the “Friends of the Cemetery” donation program. These programs allow families, friends and organizations to memorialize their loved ones and the selfless service of our veterans through the beautification of the cemetery grounds. Donations are tax deductible. Donors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation. Donors are identified on the electronic grave locator kiosk found in the vestibule of the Cemetery Administration Building.

Learn more information about the Friends of the Cemetery donation program.

My organization would like to place a memorial on the cemetery grounds. Are we allowed to do that, and what is the process?

Memorials are allowed on the cemetery grounds. Design proposals should be submitted to the Director for review and consideration. All memorials will be required to keep with the design of the cemetery. Examples of memorials may include memorial trees, commemorative benches, designated artwork, and organizational stones along the Memorial Walk.

Is there any easy way to locate a particular veteran's gravesite?

There is an electronic grave locator kiosk found in the vestibule of the Cemetery Administration Building that will assist you to locate a burial site.

Is there a chapel available at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery?

No. Funeral and/or chapel services are to be held prior to arrival at the cemetery.

Are graveside services conducted at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery?

No. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery adheres to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration's standards. Like our national counterparts, we provide a committal service shelter that takes the place of the tented graveside service traditionally conducted at private and community cemeteries. We are concerned about cemetery visitors' safety. Graveside services are not permitted since burial sites are assigned consecutively and the cemetery staff may be working in the area with heavy equipment opening and closing grave sites. The family may visit the grave site as soon as the area is determined to be safe by the staff. Cemetery staff will escort the families from the committal shelter to the columbaria plazas for the placement of cremated remains in the niches of the columbarium walls. Cemetery staff will take cremated remains that are inurned in-ground to the burial site and return to the committal shelter to escort the family to the burial site when the site has been closed and the area is safe.

May we use our family minister for the service at the Committal Service Shelter?

Yes. The cemetery does not provide a chaplain. A family minister is encouraged to lead the service at the Committal Service Shelter. As stated, this service replaces the graveside service. A member of the cemetery staff will attend and assist the funeral director and family during the service. Fifteen (15) minutes is allotted for the service that can include any combination of committal prayers, family remembrances, and the honor detail. The burial process will be completed after the family departs so cemetery staff can prepare for the next family.

How is the committal service handled?

The cemetery schedules four committal services Monday - Friday (except state holidays) on a first-come, first-serve basis. Committal services are held at the Committal Service Shelter. The service must start and stop within the allotted time period because of other scheduling. Following the service, casketed remains are left in state until the family departs, after which the burial process is completed. The funeral party will be invited to view the inurnment of cremated remains following the service. Times for scheduling the committal service are:

Will the Iowa Veterans Cemetery pay for a veteran’s funeral expanse and/or cremation?

No. All funeral expenses and costs to prepare the remains for burial must be paid by the veteran’s estate or family. Gravesite opening/closing, grave liner, military honors, temporary/permanent grave markers and perpetual care are provided free for eligible veterans.

There is a $300 assessment for eligible spouses and dependent children to be paid at the time of need (death). Fees are determined by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and are subject to change.

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