PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Officials gathered in Pembroke Monday morning to dedicate the Western New York National Cemetery.
The establishment of a veterans' cemetery is the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area.
“Today at long last, veterans across Western New York will have a fitting resting place and eternal place of honor right here in the very community they dedicated their lives to defend and serve. Dedicating this hallowed ground today answers the call of veterans who organized over a decade ago for a local National Cemetery," U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said.
Schumer and various veterans groups led the charge to bring a veterans' cemetery to the Buffalo-Rochester area beginning in the mid-2000s as there was not one within a 75-mile radius of either city.
“Today marks an historic and momentous day for Western New York veterans, their families, and our entire community. It was 16 years ago that the late Lou Palma invited me and a small coalition of Western New York veterans to begin calling upon Federal leaders to build a National Cemetery in our community," Patrick W. Welch, PhD, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret) and Western New York Veterans Advocate said.
The Western New York National Cemetery is a 269-acre site on Indian falls Road in Pembroke and will provide a burial option for approximately 77,100 veterans and family members living in Western New York.