According to Miramar National Cemetery Director, Al Ragoschke, the first casket burial at its new 313-acre site is expected to occur on or about April 15. This is in advance of the projected time during Summer 2011. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego’s only federal veteran burial site, has been closed to most casket burials for about 45 years. Since Miramar’s dedication on Nov. 22, 2010, a small plot already contains several dozen buried cremains with identifying gravestones. Eventually, the new cemetery will offer combined space for 235,000 caskets and cremains. Remains of veterans buried elsewhere may also be moved for interment at Miramar, but at family expense. As construction of its initial phase and permanent facilities continue, the cemetery is already open for daily public visits from 11am to 3pm. Miramar is one of the VA’s newest cemeteries with an untraditional design compared to most other National Cemeteries typically set on level expanses with endless rows of perfectly aligned markers. Miramar will be rather pastoral, with open green spaces and include areas of native vegetation. As a bonus, adjacent to MCAS Miramar, military aircraft will provide honorary daily flyovers. In anticipation of upcoming demand for internment, Director Ragoschke also said a number of cemetery technician job openings are projected. Despite a recent Supreme Court ruling, potential protests at veteran funerals by extremist groups are strictly regulated and essentially prohibited by Section 2413 of Chapter 24, Title 38 US Code. The “Respect for America” was signed into law by President Bush on May 26, 2006. Similar laws have also been passed in several other states, but one does not exist in California.

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