Veterans Day services were held at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham in Prince George's County on Friday. It's a familiar sight, but this year's ceremony contained something extra: word that the cemetery is receiving $1.7 million from the federal government for upgrades.
Martin Fahey is the cemetery superintendent, and he says that money will go toward improving the headstones lined row by row and maintaining the long fields of grass: "In this day in age, that's very expensive. That seems like a lot of money, but when you're talking about a cemetery that's 40 acres with 21,000 burials, and close to 15,000 headstones, we have to reset and realign."
Fahey says they're very fortunate and thankful to have received the grant, as bidding for them is very competitive -- all 50 states have veterans cemeteries that need help.
The Cheltenham cemetery first opened in 1978, and will eventually have the capacity for 50,000 burials. More than 800 are interred there every year.