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Plan Your Visit to the Fort Jackson National Cemetery
Fort Jackson National CemeteryFort Jackson National Cemetery

Plan Your Visit to the Fort Jackson National Cemetery

In Columbia, South Carolina, off of I-20 lie true American heroes who served and sacrificed their time, effort, and lives to keep America safe. The Fort Jackson National Cemetery is a wonderful tribute to the lives of troops who have passed away that sprawls over 585 acres of land that was once a part of Fort Jackson, a basic training facility for the U.S. Army.

More like this: Coins on Graves: The History Behind Honoring Our Nation’s Military 

What To Know Before You Visit the Fort Jackson National Cemetery

Visits to the Fort Jackson National Cemetery are unlike any other cemeteries in Columbia, SC. The Fort Jackson Cemetery is open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. It is a great place to go to pay respects either to loved ones who may have passed or to simply give thanks to the brave souls who sacrificed everything to keep Americans safe and free. Here are a few things you should know before visiting, courtesy of the official regulations from the cemetery itself:

  • Fresh flowers are allowed, but other items such as coins, toys, and trinkets are not. The flowers will be removed by the groundskeeping staff when wear begins to show.
  • Artificial flowers, wreaths, and blankets may be allowed during appropriate holidays throughout the year. They, too, will be removed from the gravesite a week after the holiday has passed. Size restrictions do apply.
  • The cemetery grounds are not open to pets at any time.
  • No soliciting.
  • No sports or recreational activities of any kind.
  • Picnicking is prohibited.
  • Public gatherings of a partisan nature are prohibited, as are unauthorized gatherings. Please note that the committal shelters are for services only, and loitering is not allowed.
  • No littering or smoking on the grounds, in the building, or at the committal shelter. Smoking is allowed at the designated receptacles only.
  • Cutting, digging, and any other form of damaging/altering the landscape is prohibited.
  • Be respectful; obnoxious activity, including the playing of loud music, is not allowed.
  • Altering a headstone in any manner is prohibited. (i.e., marking, sitting on, placing objects upon, attaching photographs or keepsakes to, etc.)

It’s important to be respectful to everyone during your visit, both alive and resting. The national cemetery in South Carolina is built to hold thousands upon thousands of people as their final resting place. It is a solemn ground that deserves respect and couth while visiting.

Additional Places To Visit in Columbia, South Carolina

The Fort Jackson National Cemetery is about 15-20 mins away from many other related places to visit. If you love history, the military, or are just looking for something new to do, then the city of Columbia, SC, has plenty to offer you, as it is a military city in every essence. Here are some of the other related places you can visit to enhance your experience:

  • Fort Jackson Visitors Control Center.
  • U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum.
  • Fort Jackson Post Flag.
  • Palmetto Falls Water Park.

Downtown is only around 25-30 mins from the cemetery, making it great proximity to various attractions, military sightseeing, lodging, and much more.

Who Can Be Buried at Fort Jackson National Cemetery?

All members of the Armed Forces who have served the minimum active-duty period and who were discharged under honorable conditions are eligible for burial at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery. Members of reserve units in the Armed Forces who are either on active duty, on training duty, or eligible for retired pay may also be eligible to be buried in the Fort Jackson Cemetery.

In addition to those who have served or are serving in the U.S. Military, various family members of Veterans may also be permitted, depending on the circumstances. These family members include spouses, widows/widowers, minor children who are dependent, and even unmarried adult children with disabilities, though additional stipulations may apply.

The Fort Jackson National Cemetery continues the brave legacy of those who came before it. If you or a loved one are interested in being buried on the grounds, be sure to send all discharge paperwork via fax to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417. You’ll also want to follow up over the phone at 1-800-535-1117.

More like this: Fort Jackson, SC: In-Depth Welcome Center 

Image: Ms. Alexandra Shea

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