By Buddy Blouin
Towards the southeastern portion of Pennsylvania lies a National Guard Training Center known as Fort Indiantown Gap. Here, military personnel train to defend America’s borders from various threats and use their efforts to make the United States safer. But upon these grounds lies another critical area, the Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery. It is here that those who have served our country are laid to rest with the honor and dignity deserving of a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces. It is a great place to visit for a moment of reflection and thankfulness for any patriot.

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What To Know About Visiting the Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery

If you’ve never been to the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, there are some helpful considerations you may want to know ahead of time. Before visiting the Ft. Indiantown Gap Cemetery, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints and guidelines you should know about beforehand. Here’s how you can maximize your trip while remaining respectful of the burial grounds:
  • You can find the cemetery at 60 Indiantown Gap Road, Annville, PA 17003-9618, not far off of I-81.
  • Standing 107 feet high and 360 feet long, using both open-air space and a building, the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial found on the grounds is the largest monument in VA’s national cemeteries.
  • Please be respectful of others, both mourning and resting. Loud music, obstructive talking, or anything else of the sort is prohibited.
  • Fresh flowers are always welcomed and will be removed by the groundskeepers when they begin to deteriorate. Artificial flowers are allowed from November 15 through March 1. Potted flowers are generally discouraged, but they are allowed 10 days before through 10 days after Easter.
  • Christmas wreaths, grave blankets, and other seasonal adornments are acceptable from December 1 through January 9. All seasonal adornments are removed on January 10. For size guidelines, visit the official Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery website.
  • Firearms are not allowed on the premises unless they are for official purposes. Please contact the office beforehand to avoid any breaches of policy and the law.
  • Parking on the grass is prohibited.
If you are in need of assistance, golf carts are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Visiting the Indiantown Gap military cemetery is a great place to show respect to loved ones who have passed on or just Veterans in general who fought for our freedom.

The History of the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

The name is derived as a call back to the Native Americans who once lived there. A sizable area of Fort Indiantown Gap was chosen as the national cemetery for Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia in 1976. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania donated 677 acres of land to the Veterans Administration, which is where the 60,000+ gravesites reside. The National Cemetery Administration’s History Program is an ongoing effort to provide history and context to the gravesites that hold our nation’s heroes.

Who Can Be Buried at Fort Indiantown Gap?

All members of the armed forces who meet a minimum active-duty service requirement and who were discharged under other than dishonorable conditions are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Veterans' spouses, widows, widowers, minor children, as well as unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Children and spouses who are eligible for burial can be buried regardless of whether they predeceased the Veteran. A burial may also be allowed for reserve members of the armed forces who die on active duty, training duty, or who are eligible for retired pay.

Is the Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery Open?

Yes, the Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery is open to the public every day except on federal holidays, with the exception of Memorial Day. Visitation is permitted on these days from dusk until dawn. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Taking a trip to the Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery can be somber yet one of thanksgiving. The gravestones all tell stories, and those buried on the grounds have helped make America and the world a better place. We all owe them a debt we can never repay, and stopping by to say thanks is a small token of appreciation any American can afford to the heroes who lie resting.

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Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

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