PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WIVB)
After ten years on the drawing board, the veterans cemetery planned for the Town of Pembroke has been delayed again.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has allocated $36 million for the Western New York National Cemetery, the land has been set aside along Indian Falls Road near State Route 77, and the cemetery has been designed and laid out–on paper.
Originally work was supposed to start on the veterans cemetery in Genesee County, last year, but the project is now about $10 million dollars over budget.
The closest veterans cemetery for 96,000 veterans in the Buffalo area is more than 100 miles away in the Town of Bath, and the new cemetery in Pembroke is a dream come true for veterans like Patrick Welch.
“The national cemetery gives you the status of being buried with all of your fellow comrades who have worn the cloth of this country. It is a different environment,” Welch said, “but it is the honor of being in a national veterans cemetery, versus just a seciton of a regular cemetery.”
Welch, a veteran of the Vietnam War added, the VA does have the funds to break ground on the first phase of the cemetery, which would consist of about 4,000 graves, and he fully expects construction crews should have shovels in the ground at Pembroke by this fall, with operations starting early next year.