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National veterans cemetery dedicated in southern Colorado

National veterans cemetery dedicated in southern Colorado
Posted at 4:50 PM, May 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 18:50:16-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A national veterans cemetery two decades in the making was dedicated Friday near Colorado Springs.

The ½-square mile (1.5-square kilometer) Pikes Peak National Veterans Cemetery is expected to accept its first burials in October. The property is currently pastureland and has a view of Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak.

Retired Army Col. Vic Fernandez and Colorado’s congressional delegation aided the two-decade lobbying campaign for the cemetery. The Department of Veterans Affairs had maintained that Fort Logan National Cemetery 68 miles (109 kilometers) away in Denver adequately served the state’s needs.

VA Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves said Friday the cemetery will honor the region’s dead and keep their memories alive.

Cemetery director Paul LaGrange says the cemetery is expected to take care of eligible veterans and their families for 100 years.