Missouri State Veterans Cemetery – Fort Leonard Wood

As decades pass and time marches on, the need for newer cemeteries to honor veterans has grown. For the Missouri Veterans Commission, that need came to a head in 1996, when, after persistent lobbying, the State Veterans Cemetery Program was signed into law. Through this program, the commission was allowed to plan and organize the construction of cemeteries across the state for veterans who have passed within the last forty years. Over the fifteen years since the creation of the program, five cemeteries have been constructed, and the newest is fifty miles south of Jefferson City, near Fort Leonard Wood.

Receiving funding from both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the state government of Missouri, construction began in late 2008. By September of 2010, the completed cemetery was opened to the public, with some early burials taking place beforehand. The site was built with regard to expansion, an issue that has proved problematic for a number of veterans cemeteries across the country. The current site utilizes only twenty five of the 229 total acres of land allotted, with that acreage being expected to last twenty five to thirty years during what they call ‘phase one’, cementing the fact that the state will continue to supply burial sites for veterans for decades to come.

The cemetery grounds combine modern amenities with natural tranquility. Because the active ‘phase one’ area is only a small part of the total acreage, architectural emphasis is placed on the rolling hills that surround the property, enhanced by the large memorial fountain that serves as a major anchor for the area. Alongside traditional burials, the cemetery also includes four large columbarium walls for cremains, placed atop a concrete pedestal overlooking the rest of the site, continuing to connect visitors to the natural surroundings just as much as the memories of their loved ones. The cemetery at Fort Leonard Wood operates as a reminder that putting in the attention to detail and looking forward when designing these cemeteries is one of the best ways to continue honoring the sacrifice of veterans.



25350 Highway H, Waynesville, Missouri