Proposed Northern Michigan Veterans Cemetery Passes in State Senate, Heads to House for Approval

A movement to bring a new veteran cemetery to northern Michigan just hit a big milestone.

FlagThe Michigan Senate approved Bill 971 about the new cemetery – as well as $1.5 million in the new state budget geared toward the design and feasibility study for the proposed cemetery in Crawford County.

“It’s a bill that we’ve been working with several individuals over in Crawford County kind of tying in with the military background with Camp Gayling,” said Sen. Curt VanderWall (R) 35th District. “Right now, the state of Michigan is one of the only states that does not have a state run veterans cemetery. We have 2 current federally run vet cemeteries, but nothing north.”

The $1.5 million would go toward creating the design and a feasibility study.

“When the design is done and the approval is given and the cemetery is built, we actually get reimbursed from the federal government, so there will be no cost for that cemetery for Crawford County or the state,” said Sen. VanderWall.

Bill 971 is currently in the state House waiting to be approved. If approved, Sen. VanderWall said it will go to the governor for approval.

Supporters hope to have the cemetery in operation in 2024.

“This gives them a good place to rest,” said Sen. VanderWall. “It’s state run, centrally located, so it’s not out of the way for a lot of people to go and visit their loved ones after they are buried. It’s just a great way to honor those that served our country and gave us the freedoms that we’ve come to enjoy.”