Florida National Cemetery
Florida National Cemetery is a solemn and majestic place that serves as the burial ground for over 131,000 veterans and their dependents. Dedicated as a national shrine in 1988, it occupies 517 acres within the Withlacoochee State Forest. Although it is in Sumter County, and not technically within the "Nature Coast" we include it here because of its significance.

United States veterans interred here represent every major conflict in our country's history, all the way back to the Civil War and the 2nd Seminole War. The cemetery is currently (2020) the final resting place of three Medal of Honor recipients.

This is the second-most active National Cemetery in the country, with more than 7,000 burials taking place each year. Visitors who come to honor a specific person may stop at the visitor kiosk near the entrance and use a computerized gravesite locator. The grounds are well-manicured and accessible over a number of roads that loop through the cemetery. Be sure to check the map link below for a detailed view of the layout. Florida National Cemetery is open every day of the year from sunrise until sunset.

Official ceremonies are held at the Cemetery on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. The Memorial Day Celebration typically includes a brass band, bagpipe players, presentation of Colors by a military honor guard, a rifle salute, speeches by dignitaries, and a military fly-over.

In addition to the burial grounds, the Cemetery features a Memorial Pathway that is lined with over 50 memorials to honor America's veterans. The main assembly area has an open colonnade used for holiday ceremonies. In 1993, a carillon was donated by the American Veterans Organization and placed in the open meadow adjacent to the original administration building.

Getting there ...
Additional resources