HARWOOD, N.D. — The first veteran was buried Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the newly opened Fargo National Cemetery near Harwood.
Cemetery manager Andrew Guadalupe said a total of three veterans were buried on Wednesday and six other burial ceremonies are planned this week.
He said one or two services are booked daily for the coming weeks. Service time slots are at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"We do have some time slots open," said Guadalupe, who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The 4.82-acre national veterans cemetery is the first in North Dakota and is open to members of the armed forces, their spouses and eligible family members, according to Guadalupe. The cemetery will have more than 30,000 available burial spots for veterans, although the first phase of the cemetery development will offer 3,000 spaces for the next 10 years.
It is the second cemetery in the nation built under an initiative to provide burial benefits to veterans in rural areas where access was previously limited. Visitation hours are from sunrise to sunset.
Joe Hesse attended the cemetery's first burial on Wednesday for his friend Rodney Hanngi, 76, a Vietnam War veteran from Horace, N.D. Hanngi, who served on a Huey helicopter crew while overseas, enjoyed fixing up older vehicles, so Hesse said a restored 1966 Pontiac hearse was used to bring Hanngi's body to the cemetery.
There was a gun salute and the playing of taps at the service.
Hanngi died on Sept. 7, and his funeral was in mid-September.