Fort Rosecrans reaching capacity

Veteran burial benefit to shift to Miramar

SAN DIEGO - Fort Rosecrans, San Diego's first national cemetery, is quickly running out of space, even for cremations.

"In about a week or week and a half, the last 32 niches of our columbarium will be filled, so all future first internments will have to be done at Miramar," said Douglas Ledbetter, the cemetery's director.

The Miramar National Cemetery opened for cremations in 2010 with the first burial in April 2011. Miramar has 313 acres compared to 79 at Fort Rosecrans.

"We're simply out of space," said Ledbetter. "We don't have the land to expand."

While some veterans do not like the idea, the national office for cemetery affairs did not want to duplicate services.

Fort Rosecrans will continue to accept spouses of veterans and Ledbetter said will hold to the promise of upholding the cemetery as a national shrine.

As for Miramar, Ledbetter added, "It's going to take time for the trees to mature and the graves to fill up. We are only in the first phase, but in time it will have the same effect Fort Rosecrans has."

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