Hallowed Grounds

National cemeteries are the final resting place for people who served in the United States Armed Forces. They are dignified landscapes with a tranquil, protected atmosphere.  

Faced with mounting casualties during the nation’s Civil War, Congress passed legislation in 1867 that authorized the creation of national cemeteries. Today, the National Park Service manages 14 national cemeteries, including some of the oldest national cemeteries in the nation. They are cared for as historic designed landscapes and as places of commemoration and respect for the fallen and their families. All are welcome to experience these hallowed grounds.

Short, turf around tows of white marble headstones on a slope, with a lodge and pines in the rear.
What We Do

Learn about how the National Park Service cares for national cemeteries.

American flags are lined up along rows of marble grave markers at Andersonville National Cemetery
Memorial Day

Commemorations and ceremonies in NPS national cemeteries.

Light filters through fog in a cemetery, surrounding turf, large trees, a brick walk, an headstones
National Cemetery History

An introduction to the history and evolution of national cemeteries in the United States, from the Civil War to today.

Overview of cemetery landscape showing rows of uniform marble headstones, turf, trees, and monuments
National Cemetery Design

Get to know the features and characteristics that are typical to national cemetery design.

Grayscale photo, entrance to Andrew Johnson National Cemetery with metal gates and two-story house,.
Publications and Reports

Browse Cultural Landscape Reports, Historic Structure Reports, and Administrative History Reports, for national cemetery history and care.

Dappled shade on a brick path beside a leafy tree, beside rows of uniform headstones
Plan Your Visit

Get to know the 14 national cemeteries in the National Park System and what to look for during a visit.

Last updated: June 11, 2024