SAN ANTONIO – Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will resume committal services for families who are interring their loved ones beginning Tuesday.
According to a news release, families with interments scheduled on or after Tuesday will be offered the option of a committal service at the time of interment. Military funeral honors, customarily provided by the Department of Defense and volunteer honor guards, will be based on local availability.
“We are pleased to resume committal services and military funeral honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery,” said Cemetery Director Aubrey David. “We will also soon be contacting families who chose direct interments to schedule memorial services and military funeral honors, if desired. We appreciate the patience and understanding families have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic and are eager to begin returning to normal operations.”
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery has remained open for interments and visitation throughout the pandemic but due to health and safety reasons, the cemetery began deferring committal services and military funeral honors March 23.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the number of individuals attending committal services will be limited and all attendees will be required to practice physical distancing between individuals not from the same household. All attendees and employees will be required to wear face coverings and encouraged to frequently use hand sanitizer.
Sick individuals will be asked to stay home.
In keeping with federal, state and local guidance, committal and memorial services at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery will be limited to 10 family members and guests at the service. Cemetery employees, funeral home personnel and military honors providers will not count toward the family’s limit on attendees.
Families may continue to choose a direct interment without a service and opt for a memorial service later when all restrictions have been lifted.
Memorial services for Veterans and eligible family members who were interred without a committal service between March 23 and June 8 will begin in July. Cemetery representatives will be reaching out to families in the coming weeks to discuss their options and schedule a memorial service, if desired. Families may also contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office or the cemetery directly to schedule a memorial service after June 29.
For more information, visit the National Cemetery Adminstration website. To make burial arrangements or schedule a memorial service at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery or any VA national cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.