Remembering and honoring the men and women who have fought and died for our country can be deeply personal and take many different forms. For some, it may mean hanging an American flag on the front porch or placing flowers on a tombstone. For others, it may mean keeping photographs on the mantle or telling heroic stories to children and loved ones. Regardless of what form it takes, the brave and selfless Service members of every generation deserve our ongoing admiration and respect.
The Veterans Legacy Program (VLP), launched by the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), is an educational program designed to commemorate our nation’s Veterans by discovering and documenting the stories of the men and women buried in the 155 national cemeteries across our country.
The VLP was established on Memorial Day in 2016 to fulfill the NCA’s mission to memorialize and remember Veterans in innovative and engaging ways. By encouraging students and teachers around the country to immerse themselves in the stories of Veterans buried in the cemeteries nearest them, the program serves as a way for Veterans to live on long past death, connecting new generations to the past.
In its first year, the VLP worked with three universities to research, document and share the histories of Veterans in their communities—San Francisco State University, Black Hills State University and the University of Central Florida. Since then, the program has facilitated the discovery of nearly 1,000 Veterans’ stories.
How It Works
The Veterans Legacy Program is an educational program designed to commemorate our nation’s Veterans by discovering and documenting the stories of the men and women buried in the 155 national cemeteries across our country.
The program encourages students and teachers to research the lives of the fallen heroes buried in 155 national cemeteries. These cemeteries are spread throughout the country in major cities and small towns, making each research project personal and local. Through in-depth research, the public learns about the Veterans—who they were, what their lives were like, where they lived, what jobs they held and much more. This research is then turned into lesson plans, videos, biographies and projects that document and commemorate the lives and legacies of our nation’s Veterans.
The VLP offers many ways for all of us to get involved.
- Follow the program on social media through Facebook, Twitter or its blog, all of which highlight different Veterans and their stories. Learn about Veterans from all over the country, including women, minorities, local heroes and much more.
- Visit the NCA mobile site, designed to help you find a Department of Veterans Affairs national cemetery and locate a specific grave with just a few clicks.
- Watch videos from different students and researchers who have honored Veterans in their local communities.
- Find interactive, age-appropriate lesson plans from kindergarten through high school.
- Use the Find a Cemetery tool, which makes it easy to locate national cemeteries close to you.
- Apply to the program. Check out the Veterans Legacy Grant Program for more information.
Each one of our nation’s Veterans deserves to be honored and remembered. The VLP provides us with a chance to share their stories and commemorate their service.