South Alabama has the privilege and honor to be the location of the first state Veterans cemetery in Alabama located on highway 225 in Baldwin County, just north of Spanish Fort. Construction is well under way and the first interments should begin later in 2013. Initially the facility will be operated under the direction of the US Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Division. Later, operations will be handed over to the state.
Many years and much effort were the requirements for the success of this project. In addition to the South Alabama Veterans Council, many individuals and organizations combined their support to fulfill the dream and desire of those seeking to establish a permanent memorial to those that have greatly served their country.
The dedication ceremony was held on Friday, December 7, at 10:00 AM.
Alabama’s first veteran to have the Alabama State Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort as their final resting place was laid to rest Friday morning, April 19. Leo Carpenter, 81, joined the Navy just a few days out of high school and later served with the Army National Guard.
SPANISH FORT, Alabama – A new rural burial ground for veterans in South Alabama and elsewhere served as the solemn yet scenic backdrop for a Memorial Day ceremony that recognized fallen U.S. soldiers.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley spoke before a crowd of veterans and other onlookers at the new 22-acre Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort, which interred its first veteran in April and has buried 24 others thus far.
“This cemetery serves as a memorial and a proper resting place,” Bentley said. “We should honor our fallen service members not just with our words, but our hearts and in our actions every day.”
Bentley, speaking to the local media after the ceremony, said he believes veterans organizations and the Alabama State Department of Veteran’s Affairs will do a “very good job” in promoting and maintaining the state’s first dedicated veterans cemetery for the years to come.