Massachusetts has state Veterans' Memorial Cemeteries located in Agawam and in Winchendon. There is no fee for a veteran's burial in a state veterans' memorial cemetery. A nominal fee will be charged for the burial of spouses, widows/widowers, and qualified dependents.
With the exception of a residency requirement, the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemeteries follow the military eligibility requirements set forth by the National Cemetery Administration.
* With certain exceptions, service beginning after September 7, 1980, as an enlisted person, and service after October 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum of 24 months –OR– the full period for which the person was called to active duty (examples include those serving less than 24 months in the Gulf War or Reservists who were federalized by Presidential Recall).
Those not eligible for burial
Eligibility for family of veterans
The spouses, widows, and widowers of veterans are eligible for burial in the state veteran's cemeteries if they were legally married at the time of death. The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran is eligible for interment even if that veteran is not buried or memorialized in a state veterans' cemetery. In addition, the spouse or surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States whose remains are unavailable for burial is also eligible for burial.
The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who had a subsequent remarriage to a non-veteran and whose death occurred on or after January 1, 2000, is eligible for burial in a state veterans' cemetery based on his or her marriage to the eligible veteran.
For purposes of burial in a state veterans' cemetery, the minor child of an eligible veteran must be unmarried and:
(a) under 21 years of age; or,
(b) under 24 years of age and pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
For purposes of burial in a state veterans' cemetery, the unmarried child of an eligible veteran is one of any age but permanently physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching 21 years of age, or before reaching 24 years of age if pursuing a full-time course of education at an approved educational institution. Proper supporting documentation must be provided.
How to apply
To simplify the process for the veteran's next-of-kin, the following documents should be set aside to be available at the time of need:
At the time of need, these documents should be forwarded to one of the Massachusetts veterans' cemeteries for approval (see addresses next page).
Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Agawam
1390 Main Street
Agawam, MA 01001
Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Winchendon
111 Glenallen Street
Winchendon, MA 01475
The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration maintains 130 national cemeteries in 39 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier's lots and monument sites. The Massachusetts national cemetery is located in Bourne, MA.
VA burial benefits include a gravesite in a national cemetery, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual grave, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate at no cost to the family. Cremains are buried or intured in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Eligibility and how to apply
Massachusetts National Cemetery
Bourne, MA 02532
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration
To arrange for funeral honors, contact your local funeral home. Direct access via phone and/or fax number is necessary for people who are doing the arrangements without the benefit of a funeral director. Contact the branch of service directly.
Air Force: 781-377-4850; Fax: 781-377-3153
Army: 774-286-1702; Fax: 508-233-6781
Coast Guard: 617-990-6249; Fax: 617-223-3490
Marine Corps: 866-826-3628; Fax: 703-784-9827
Navy: 860-694-3475; Fax: 860-694-3699