MANDAN — Changes are coming to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
The Mandan Cemetery said they’ll be getting a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that will allow them to construct a columbarium or an above-ground resting place for cremains.
The size of each niche, which is where the urns are placed, will be 10 and a half inches by 15 inches and goes 20 inches deep, large enough to hold the veteran and their spouse.
Cemetery officials said over the 27 year life of the cemetery, this is just the third time they’ve been awarded a grant and the money will be used for this long-overdue project.
“It is something that most veterans cemeteries already offer, so we are one of the few that do not have it, so this will definitely be an enhancement to the veterans cemetery,” said Cemetery Director Pamela Helbling-Schafer.
She said currently 58 percent of all burials are cremation burials, so they do expect the columbarium to be well received.