Accessing The National Military Cemetery

November 3, 2011 by Legion Magazine

Occupying 8.29 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces (NMC) is located in Canada’s National Capital, in the historic Beechwood Cemetery. NMC is dedicated to Canadian service personnel who have faithfully served their nation, in peace and in war, at home and abroad and who are now at rest. It is a national focal point for a grateful nation to honour those who have placed themselves in harm’s way, on behalf of the people
of Canada.

All serving and honourably released members of the Canadian Forces, regular and primary reserve, and Canada’s merchant navy are eligible to be interred in the NMC. One designated immediate family member may also be interred in the same plot. Verification of entitlement will be established in every case.

To determine eligibility, a completed application form must be forwarded to the Directorate of Casualty Support Management (DCSM). Once received and verified, qualified applicants will be notified by letter of their acceptance and they will be authorized to make contact directly with Beechwood Cemetery.

Once eligibility has been determined, applicants, and/or their estate, will then co-ordinate arrangements directly with Beechwood Cemetery. Beechwood Cemetery will co-ordinate the purchase, production and installation of all headstones in accordance with specifications that are predetermined by the CF. Plots will not be pre-selected nor will they be allocated on the basis of rank, service, regiment, or personal preference.

Fees related to burials and related services are established annually and are based upon rates published by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services. All burial costs for personnel who are killed or die while still serving will be borne by the CF (up to a maximum value in accordance with Treasury Board Directives). Burial costs for veterans and their designated family members will be borne by the applicant or their estate. Beechwood offers prepayment options so that those willing to be buried at the NMC can take advantage of current prices.

Subject to availability and the wishes of the family, military presence will be made available, without charge, for all interments of former members of the CF. This may include a small presence guard, padre, bugler and/or piper. Immediate family members, who are not former members of the CF, are not entitled to this service. In order to ensure that proper support can be provided, the request for military presence must be made a minimum of five working days in advance.

Further information of the National Military Cemetery can be obtained at the Directorate of Casualty Support Management, Manager, National Military Cemetery, National Defence Headquarters, 101 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K2. The website is  www.forces.gc.ca/centre and the Centre can be reached by e-mail at Centre@forces.gc.ca. Call toll-free in Canada at 800-883-6094.

If you are calling from outside Canada, call collect at 613-992-0307 or fax 613-995-9175.

Beechwood Cemetery can be reached at 280 Beechwood Ave., Box 7025, Ottawa, ON K1L 8E2, www.beechwoodcemetery.com, or e-mail nmc@beechwoodcemetery.com. The phone number is 613-741-9530 or toll-free at 1-866-990-9530.

Are you a Second World War or Korean War veteran or the spouse of a deceased veteran? Veterans Affairs Canada health benefits and service may be available. Contact 1-877-534-4666 or e-mail servicebureau@legion.ca for more information.

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