Cortez Masto says VA committed to Elko veterans cemetery

May 28, 2021 GMT

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A nearly decade-long effort has resulted in a Veterans Administration commitment to build a new National Veterans Cemetery in northeast Nevada, U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said Thursday.

Gil Hernandez, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2350 in Elko and a member of the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery advisory committee, credited the Democratic senator in a statement with securing the VA pledge for the site in Elko.

Cortez Masto said in the statement that Elko has been considered for a veterans cemetery since 2011 under the VA Rural Initiative.

Until now, veterans and family members have traveled to cemeteries in Fernley, Nevada, more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) to the west; Salt Lake City, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) to the east; or Boulder City, 450 miles (725 kilometers) to the south.

Cortez Masto said the cemetery will serve more than 4,000 veterans and at 15 acres (6.1 hectares) is the largest established under the VA Rural Initiative. Land was transferred to the Veterans Administration from the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Plans call for initial construction to include 5 acres (2 hectares) of burial ground, with additional space held in reserve for coming decades.