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The second Idaho State Veteran’s Cemetery being built in Blackfoot

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BLACKFOOT — The Gem State is getting its second veteran’s cemetery, and it’s going to be built in Blackfoot.
City officials say the project is on schedule to be completed later in 2020 and dedicated on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day.
“In Idaho, we only have one veteran’s cemetery and that’s here in Boise,” Idaho State Veterans Cemetery Bureau Chief James Earp told “The closest veteran’s cemetery for anybody in eastern Idaho is down in Salt Lake.”
When completed, the 40-acre cemetery will serve more than 20,000 eastern Idaho veterans and their families. It will have plots for in-ground casket burials and three options for cremation. There will be space for in-ground inurnment, a scatter garden and a columbarium, which is a building with nooks to place urns.
The cemetery will also have a location where families can hold funeral services prior to burial.
Earp said the city of Blackfoot was selected for the new cemetery in part because it falls between the two largest population centers in eastern Idaho; Bonneville and Bannock counties. The exact location of the cemetery is adjacent to Blackfoot’s State Hospital South.
Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll he has spoken to citizens about the veteran’s cemetery who are happy that it is being built locally. He said one woman told him that she had the cremated remains of her husband and two sons. She said she has been waiting for a local veteran’s cemetery to be able to lay their remains to rest.
“It honors veterans of all ages,” Carroll said.
Earp said they are eager to provide a cemetery for eastern Idaho’s veterans.
“I know how patient the veterans and the communities in eastern Idaho have been. This is a great thing for them and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said.
Earp said good weather during the first stages of construction was helpful and he hopes 2020 will have a mild spring to allow crews to meet their goal of finishing by early November.
“With the great temperatures and milder conditions that they experienced in October, November, they were able to get a lot of the earthwork done initially,” Earp said. “We’re excited if we get a good spring coming in here for 2020 that’ll help with the construction process.”
According to a news release, the total construction cost is estimated to be around $8.4 million. The Idaho Division of Veteran’s Services website says the federal government will pay for the majority of that and Veteran’s Services will pay for the rest.
Once completed, it becomes the State of Idaho’s responsibility to fund and operate the cemetery.

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