This bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to provide an outer burial receptacle (such as a standard grave liner) for any new grave in an open cemetery administered by the National Park Service (NPS). The bill would also reimburse a veteran’s survivors if they privately purchased an outer burial receptacle for use in a National Park Service cemetery. This would bring NPS into line with practices at Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) cemeteries. Outer burial receptacles provide meaningful protection against the elements, protecting the casket against the impacts of soil backfill and the regular wear of cemetery maintenance, and currently are provided at the survivors’ expense.
In addition to the standard grave liner, the bill would also allow the Secretary of the Interior to provide an outer burial receptacle other than a grave liner to eligible veterans at the time of their interment in a National Park. In such cases the survivors would pay the difference in cost between the grave liner and the alternative burial receptacle, plus the amount of administrative costs incurred by the Secretary.