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FAQS

Sarasota National Cemetery is estimated to be at full capacity in 2065 and to be the final resting place for over 150,000 Veterans, Veterans Spouses and their qualifying dependents

FLORAL AND GROUNDS POLICY

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From the National Cemetery Association

 

Our cemetery floral regulations exist only to reflect the honor and respect we hold for our Nation's Veterans, by preserving the dignity and solemnity of their final resting place.

We welcome and encourage fresh-cut flowers throughout the year and provide flower containers for gravesite display.

Flowers will be removed when they become unsightly, for mowing and maintenance, or if damaged by weather or wildlife. Due to the open nature of the grounds, we cannot guarantee against theft, vandalism or the effects of nature.

Items left at gravesite must be floral in nature and may not stand taller than the headstone. Other items, to include hazardous materials, glass, metal, toys, candles, and balloons are not permitted. Unauthorized items will be removed immediately. Removed items will be held for 30 days.

During the winter holiday season, (December 1 through January 10) potted plants, artificial flowers, wreaths (less than 18 inches in diameter) and grave blankets (less than 2 X 3 feet) are permitted.

During Easter and Memorial Day, potted plants may be placed on gravesites 10 days before through 10 days after the holiday.

In order to preserve the dignity, beauty and serenity of Sarasota National Cemetery, we ask you to please observe the following restrictions. Thank you for your cooperation:

  • Pets are not allowed on the cemetery grounds at any time.
  • No soliciting.
  • Sports or recreational activities of any kind are prohibited.
  • No picnicking.
  • Public gatherings of a partisan nature are prohibited, no unauthorized gatherings are permitted. Committal shelters are for services only, no loitering.
  • Do not litter, please use one of the many receptacles provided.
  • Smoking is not allowed on the grounds, in any building or the committal shelter. Please smoke only at the designated receptacles.
  • No cutting, digging or otherwise damaging the landscape.
  • Boisterous activity, including the playing of loud music, is prohibited.
  • Altering a headstone or niche cover in any manner is prohibited. (i.e., marking, sitting on, placing objects upon, attaching photographs or keepsakes to, etc.)


Please note that Sarasota National Cemetery is a fully operational cemetery. If there are services in progress, please keep a respectful distance from the funeral. No photography of funeral services is permitted without the consent of the family. If cemetery workers are engaged in burial operations, please keep to the road, or outside the marked perimeter of operations.


We thank you in advance for providing the respect our Veterans are due by observing the above listed rules. Our Nation's Heroes, some of whom gave their lives for this country, deserve no less than a pristine landscape to honor their final rest.

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF SARASOTA NATIONAL CEMETERY

Sarasota National Cemetery is one of 7 National Cemeteries in the state of Florida and as of September 2019 is the final resting place of 21,121 Veterans.


At the time of construction, there were over 1.9 Million Veterans within a 75 mile radius of the Sarasota Area and it was determined that the 295-acre national cemetery in Sarasota will serve our veterans’ needs for the next 50 years. The cemetery is located in Sarasota County along State Road 72 and approximately four miles east of Interstate 75. The Cemetery's Hallowed Grounds consist of casketed and cremated remains which can be interred either on the grounds or in the Columbarium niches. Services are held at one of two Committal Shelters.


In April 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs purchased the site from private citizens and awarded a contract to Miller Legg & Associates of Winter Park, Fla., to design the new cemetery. Construction of Phase IB is complete and provides for nearly 18,200 full casket gravesites, including 15,200 pre-placed crypts, 9,000 in-ground cremains and approximately 7,200 columbarium niches. 


The cemetery also includes an administration and public information center complex with an electronic gravesite locator and public restrooms, a maintenance facility, a cemetery entrance area, a flag assembly area and a memorial walkway and a donations area, as well as two committal shelters and other infrastructure design elements include roadways, landscaping, utilities, and irrigation.


The 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater “Patriot Plaza”, donated by The Patterson Foundation of Sarasota, was completed June 28, 2014.  Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., there are guided tours of the commissioned art work located within Patriot Plaza. To schedule larger group tours to include school children tours, please call the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County at 941-365-5118 x301.