Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery
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Chapel Renovation Update
The cemetery remains open to family and friends of interred veterans. Please exercise additional caution when entering from Howlett Hill Road. Refer to this page for periodic status updates of the renovation process.
9/2/20 update: The Chapel is nearly complete. We are awaiting delivery of pews, plaques and other items.
Formally dedicated on May 30, 1987, the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery honors Onondaga County residents and family members who dedicated portions of their lives to the military and defense of our nation. Since the first burial of decorated World War II Navy veteran Leo McInerney on June 11, 1986, the cemetery has performed services for more than 5,000 service members from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force, including visionary Onondaga County Legislators Jack Haley and Jim Salanger as well as legendary paratrooper/Syracuse University football coach Ben Schwartzwalder.
The 52 acre Veterans Cemetery grounds have been enhanced by additions of a Memorial Garden (1998) and enlarged Chapel (2000), with recent expansion necessary to provide a fitting final resting place for veterans today and those who will serve in the future.
Click here for more information about the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.
All honorably discharged veterans of military service are eligible for interment in the Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Veteran status must be documented.
Veterans must be or have been a resident of Onondaga County. If not a current resident, verification of prior residency of at least five years is required.
The legal spouse of the veteran is eligible with documentation verifying marriage. If the spouse is also a veteran, he or she is entitled to a separate and adjacent plot.
Dependent children of the veteran – under the age of 18 – or children with a mental or physical disability that was evident prior to age 18, are eligible. In all cases, the Onondaga County Veterans Service Agency will be responsible for determining eligibility and for maintaining appropriate records.
All committals are performed at the cemetery chapel. Operation of the Veterans Cemetery, including burials, plot assignments, burial records and care of the grounds is the responsibility of Onondaga County Parks.
- The Onondaga County Veterans Memorial Cemetery is open year-round from dawn to dusk for visitation.
- “Taps” is played nightly at dusk.
- Cemetery staff is on duty Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
- Burials may be scheduled by calling the cemetery staff at (315) 484-1564.
Our goal is to provide and maintain a facility of respect and dignity for the men and women of the military and their families. The following policies established by Onondaga County, with support of the Onondaga County Veterans Advisory Board, regulate the placement of graveside adornments to include but not limited to natural and artificial flowers, natural and artificial potted plants, wreaths, flags, crosses, and trinkets, on or near burial plots within the property of Veterans Memorial Cemetery and Loomis Hill Cemetery.
Grave adornments are limited to:
- FLOWERS: Fresh cut flowers are allowed at anytime, in one upright non-breakable flower vase (available during Spring & Summer months at the Cemetery), or without a container. All other containers are prohibited. Artificial flowers are allowed November 1-April 1 ONLY in one upright non-breakable flower vase.
- FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS: Floral designs and pieces are permitted immediately following an interment, and will be removed the next day.
- CHRISTMAS WREATHS: One live wreath ONLY on a wreath stand will be permitted from the time that wreaths from Wreaths Across America are placed until January 20.
- FLAGS: One 7 in. x 11 in. United States of America flag ONLY on a wooden dowel is permitted between Friday before Memorial Day (May 30) until the 1st business day after Memorial Day.
- ADORNMENTS: Any type of adornment not mentioned above is strictly prohibited, and will be removed immediately.
Unauthorized items removed from burial plots and surrounding areas will be disposed of in the proper manner. These items will not be sold, collected for sale, or removed from the cemetery by employees or others for personal use. The cemetery will not be responsible for damaged or lost items of any kind left at a burial plot.
Gravestones for veterans are provided by the Veterans Administration. Markers for dependent children and spouses are provided by the family and must conform to cemetery standards (4" x 12" x 24" Barre Granite; steeled- not polished- finish; with military lettering). Upright markers are not permitted. Formats for gravestones are available in the cemetery office.
Cemetery visitation during daylight hours only
Click here for more information about the Onondaga County Veterans Service Agency. Application for purchasing of a Right - To - Burial may be made by contacting the Onondaga County Veterans Service Agency in the John H. Mulroy Civic Center at (315) 435-3355.
Click here for information about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Burial Benefits and Memorials, including the format for gravestones.
- Indian Hill Memorial in Pompey features a 1917 stone monument honoring what was purported to be the first Catholic mass in New York State
- Hoppers Glen Memorial Park on West Seneca Turnpike contains graves of War of 1812 Captains Benjamin Branch and Henry Crouch
- Butterfly Garden for Hope along the Onondaga Lake Parkway is a beautiful memorial created and maintained by Hope for Bereaved volunteers. This is a popular spot for wedding ceremonies and photos. For more information, contact Hope for Bereaved.
During your visit to Onondaga County Parks, you may be photographed, videotaped, or filmed by Onondaga County Parks or authorized parties. Your attendance/admission serves as permission for use of these images by Onondaga County Parks. Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without permission of Onondaga County Parks.