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Fort Sheridan National Cemetery Open House

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) and the Lake County Forest Preserve District (District) will provide information regarding the VA's request for the transfer of approximately 4.7 acres of District property. This transfer will allow the VA to expand the Fort Sheridan National Cemetery and install columbaria, which are used for the above-ground interment of cremated remains, in order to provide decades of continued future service to the Veteran community. All remaining burial capacity in the Fort Sheridan National Cemetery is expected to be depleted within the next 15 years. The proposed 4.7-acre transfer will provide capacity for more than 50 additional years of burial needs for Veterans. Receiving comments and feedback from the community is an important part of the District’s process for determining the appropriate course of action.

During the open house event the below was available:

  • View the VA's presentation explaining its plan.
  • Learn more about the VA’s request and why District property is necessary.
  • Review a series of exhibit boards.
  • Meet representatives from the VA, NCA, and the District who can answer questions about the request.
  • Provide comments and feedback on the plan.

US Department of Veteran's Affairs National Cemetery Administration

For additional information on the National Cemetery Administration's Columbarium and In-Ground Cremain Burials, visit its website here.


Sample Columbarium Layout. The columbarium may be faced with ''Milwaukee Cream City Brick," of which many Fort Sheridan buildings were constructed.


The History

In January 1989, the Secretary of Defense approved recommendation from the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to close Fort Sheridan. In October 1997, the District approved the Memorandum of Agreement with the Federal Government, through the Department of the Army, approving the transfer of approximately 250 acres of Fort Sheridan to the District.

As a condition of the Federal Government deeding the Fort Sheridan property to the District, it required the District to maintain the cemetery in perpetuity. The District has continued to provide care and maintenance of the cemetery at a cost of approximately $35,000 per year.

In 2019, the VA contacted the District to discuss the potential transfer of property and the benefits provided to the District in return. If the District agreed to transfer roughly 5 acres for an expansion of the cemetery, the VA offered to release the District from its perpetual maintenance responsibility for the site. Considering that the District is required to maintain the cemetery in perpetuity, a release from the maintenance requirement would significantly reduce District operational costs now and in the future.

The VA and the NCA assumed responsibility for the cemetery in December 2019, at which point the name of the cemetery changed from the "Fort Sheridan Cemetery" to the "Fort Sheridan National Cemetery," reflecting the NCA's oversight.


Sample Committal Shelter. The Committal Shelter provides a designated location within the cemetery to hold an interment service. Situated to allow for a quiet, dignified, and solemn interment service. Designed as an open, covered pavilion with limited seating and set in terrain with trees and vegetation. ''Milwaukee Cream City Brick" will also be considered for the posts/pillars of the Shelter.

Public Comment

A Policy Direction is expected to be presented to the Planning Committee at 1 pm on August 29th in the District’s Committee Room at the General Offices, 1899 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville, IL 60048, requesting direction whether staff should continue discussions with the VA and negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding or other agreement for the conveyance of 4.7 acres to the VA. The full agenda for that meeting will be posted on the District’s Agenda & Minutes, at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.