ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks on May 29 during a ceremony commemorating Memorial Day and the recent establishment of New York’s first-ever State Veterans Cemetery.

The site was established earlier this year and ensures the State can provide dignified burial options for New York’s veterans and their families.

The cemetery serves to pay tribute to the brave service members who sacrificed their lives for the state and the nation. There are more than 1,000 veterans buried at the cemetery, representing every conflict from World War II to the present day.

“Memorial Day is a sacred reminder of the profound debt of gratitude we owe to our fallen heroes,” Governor Hochul said. “The first State Veterans Cemetery honors brave men and women and the sacrifices they made to defend our freedom, preserve our democracy, and ensure our safety, and I am proud to commemorate this commitment to our veterans and their families to ensure they can rest in peace.”

New York State Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen shared that “Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and women who laid down their lives in defense of our freedom. It is a day to honor their memory, pay tribute to their selflessness, and express our eternal gratitude. The inaugural event at the first state veterans cemetery in New York is a poignant symbol of our commitment to ensuring a final resting place that befits the heroes who fought for our nation. May their legacy forever inspire us to cherish the values they fought for and uphold the ideals they held dear.”

The cemetery is located in Romulus, Seneca County, along Seneca Lake and adjacent to Sampson State Park. Its close proximity to Waterloo, where Memorial Day was first recognized on May 5, 1866, adds to the cemetery’s historical significance.