Thursday, April 19, 2007

Veterans Cemetery To Be Dedicated Sunday

Veterans Cemetery To Be Dedicated Sunday
By Ian Thompson

Zachary Kaufman/Daily Republicc Team Eight's leader Sgt. Peggy Withers practices folding the flag at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon Wednesday.

DIXON - Officials, salutes and music will mark the dedication of the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Sunday.

An address by William Tuerk, Department of Veterans Affairs undersecretary for memorial affairs, will be the centerpiece. Vacaville Mayor and retired Air Force officer Len Augustine will oversee the hour-long ceremony that will have state, federal and local officials as well as veterans attending.

The dedication of the national cemetery on Midway Road is at 2 p.m. Sunday, six months after the first veteran was laid to rest there.

The California National Guard will fire a salute and Travis Air Force Base will provide a color guard as well as the Air Force Band of the Golden West to perform.

The C-17 Globemaster called the Spirit of Solano, along with a C-5 Galaxy and a KC-10 Extender, will fly over. There will also be displays of services offered by the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration.

Fourteen acres of the cemetery were opened to burials in mid-October 2006. World War II marine Alvin Hayman, the man who sold the land to the VA two years before, was the first person buried there.

The cemetery was created to provide a burial place for the large number of veterans in the area. Before it opened, veterans had to be buried 130 miles away in the veterans cemetery in Gustine or in local cemeteries.

Work on the rest of the cemetery's first phase of construction, which covers 55 acres, will start this spring, according to the VA.

The total cemetery will eventually cover 561 acres.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or

At a glance
What: Formal dedication of the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on Midway Road, just east of Interstate 80

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