ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that the Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Seneca County, has been chosen by a State-appointed committee as the site of New York’s first State Veterans Cemetery. This decision brings New York one step closer to establishing a permanent, State-owned resting place to honor New York’s veterans and their family members.
Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery is situated on 162 acres along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region. The cemetery is located on what was formerly the Sampson Naval Training Station and Sampson Air Force Base, where hundreds of thousands of servicemembers were trained during World War II and the Korean War.
The site also served thousands more as a temporary college and as a separation center for service member discharges before the base’s official closure in 2000. The cemetery is also located a short distance from Waterloo, recognized across the country as the birthplace of the Memorial Day holiday.
Sampson is already a functioning veterans cemetery that operates in accordance with federal veterans cemetery standards. An initial 15 acres of the site have already been developed, providing for 6,000 planned grave sites and columbarium niches. The full 162-acre site provides the capacity to ultimately accommodate more than 80,000 grave sites. New York State’s Division of Veterans’ Services leadership team will visit the cemetery on Memorial Day to lay a wreath and participate in a brief ceremony.
“We are forever indebted to the brave New Yorkers who served our nation in uniform and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live freely and safely, and we will never forget their contributions to society,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our promise has always been to establish a permanent monument to these heroes and provide their family members — and people from across the state—a place to visit and honor their memories, and this site selected in Romulus is the perfect location for a sacred, final resting place.”
New York is one of only a few states nationwide that does not have a state veterans cemetery.