Veterans Cemetery Information

Dedication of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery

The latest milestone in the long lived dream of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery is its dedication in May 2018 and burials available this fall.  This solemn ceremony brought the community together to dedicate this land as the final resting place of our beloved veterans. 

Congressman Lamborn said during his remarks, "This tranquil place, with Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak eternally standing sentinel over the graves, will serve as a peaceful monument to the service Pikes Peak region veterans have provided their fellow citizens.  Their loved ones will be able to visit this magnificent place and remember the time they spent together on this earth, while men and women of future generations might look upon it as a reminder of the price of liberty and be grateful."

Congressman Lamborn at the Pikes Peak Cemetery construction announcement


Grant Secured for the Pikes Peak National Cemetery

Congressman Lamborn is pleased to announce a milestone in construction of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs. The national cemetery is located at 10545 Drennan Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80925.

The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $31 Million construction contract to a developer with a Fall 2019 completion date.

The project has been a high priority for the Congressman and the contract is the next step in honoring the service of Colorado veterans.  Colorado Veterans have worked toward this achievement for more than 20 years and the Congressman’s work on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs secured proper procedures and funding to make the effort a reality.

The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded G&C Fab-Con, LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business from Flemington, NJ the $31.8 million contract. Over 13,000 new burial spaces will be available in 2019 and later development will accommodate an estimated 95,000 total spaces. The Colorado Springs community and the entire Colorado veteran community will greatly benefit from the project.

“I’ll continue to work with the VA to ensure the Pikes Peak National Cemetery is completed on time for veterans in our community.  Our region is home to 80 percent of the state’s veterans and Colorado has the highest percentage of veterans in the nation.  We’re long overdue for a local cemetery to honor our veterans and provide a final resting place to America’s heroes." - Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

Please find a fact sheet about the cemetery here.


Artists Renderings (July 2016)

 

Pikes Peak National Cemetery Progress

  • $31 Million Awarded 9/20/2017
    $31 Million Awarded to Start Construction on Veterans’ Cemetery. Read the press release here
  • Veterans Funding 9/29/2016
    Lamborn Supports CR to Prioritize Funding for Military and Veterans. Read the press release here
  • Gazette Article 5/5/2016
    Gazette Article on the Pikes Peak National Cemetery. Read the press release here
  • Naming Ceremony 5/2/2016
    Naming Ceremony For New National Veterans Cemetery. Read the press release here
  • Gazette Headline 4/7/2016
    Gazette Headline: Cemetery Cash In Budget. Read the press release here
  • VA Advisory Board 3/12/2016
    Rep. Lamborn met with his Veterans Advisory Board at the new Colorado Springs VA Clinic. Read the press release here
  • VA land purchase 1/21/2015
    VA completed final purchase of 374 acres of land in Colorado Springs, CO known as the Rolling Hills Ranch. The site is located east of Colorado Springs near the intersection of Bradley and South Meridian Roads. Read the press release here
  • HASC and VA 25/1/2011
    Congressman Doug Lamborn was seated for a third term on both the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
  • H.R. 3219 10/13/2010
    H.R. 3219 becomes law (P.L. 111-275), authorizing a national veterans’ cemetery in southern Colorado. (Passed the House July 27, 2009; Passed the Senate September 28, 2010).
  • Funding Request 2/1/2010
    The Veterans Administration requests funding for a Southern Colorado VA National Cemetery.
  • Bill Sent To Committee 6/30/2009
    The House VA Subcommittee Sends National Veterans Cemetery Bill For Southern Colorado To Full Committee. Read the press release here
  • Lamborn introduces bill 1/5/2007
    Lamborn introduced H.R. 295, a bill directing the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs to establish a national veterans’ cemetery in the Pike’s Peak region. Read the press release here



Vets cemetery to be reality

By Tom Roeder

Nearly two decades after a local coalition began its push for a national cemetery, more than 80,000 Pikes Peak region veterans will soon have a final place to call home.

Ground will be broken soon on the Pikes Peak National Cemetery near the Colorado Springs Airport after an effort that brought together unlikely allies and a few circumstances that backers of the cemetery attribute to having God on their side.

The 374-acre site is on former ranchland that borders Jimmy Camp Creek. The rolling hills offer sweeping views of Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain and will be landscaped to house pristine memorials and even a duck pond. The white gravestones will be lined in precise military formation.

The first phase to accommodate 13,000 burials will open next year.

Retired Army Col. Vic Fernandez can’t wait.

“I think God is keeping me alive so I can be buried there,” the Vietnam veteran said.

Fernandez is the last living founder of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery Committee, which formed in 1999.

The group wanted to address a basic problem: Colorado’s biggest pool of veterans is in Colorado Springs, but the state’s sole Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery is in Denver. Fort Logan National Cemetery is nearly a two-hour drive with traffic on most days and is sometimes unreachable in winter when storms rage on Monument hill, Fernandez said.

But the idea of a national cemetery in Colorado Springs nearly foundered in the face of VA bureaucracy and regulations. The agency had a rule that forbid a new cemetery to cover a community within 75 miles of Fort Logan, leaving area veterans no option except a lengthy hearse ride after death.

“In order to get anything done we had to get congressional approval,” Fernandez said.

The group went shopping for a Colorado lawmaker willing to take up their cause. It was a search that would last seven years, the colonel said.

Then a sympathetic candidate came along. U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, met with the cemetery group before his 2006 election.

Son of a World War II veteran, Lamborn understood what it meant to have a final resting place for those who have served. “I made it my highest priority,” Lamborn said.

But getting Lamborn on board wasn’t a perfect solution. The rookie lawmaker had little power on Capitol Hill. The Democrats took the reins of power in the House as Lamborn arrived in 2007.

The wishes of GOP newcomers weren’t a priority, Lamborn said.

In the House, most lawmakers at that point would figure out a bit of horse-trading. You give me a cemetery and I’ll give you a highway bridge. But even that wouldn’t suffice.

“I had nothing to give,” Lamborn said. “I was a freshman in the minority. I had to let the cause speak for itself.”

Lamborn, who has repeatedly been named the House’s most conservative congressman, also needed liberal allies.

He sought out a pair of brothers from one of the state’s bluest Democratic families, Ken Salazar in the Senate and his brother John, representing Pueblo in the House.

The Republican, not welcome at most Democratic gatherings, worked to enlist John Salazar, from the San Luis Valley.

“He agreed with me after some persuasion,” Lamborn said.

To do that, he made the cemetery a Pueblo thing. Pueblo is proud of its veterans. The city calls itself “Home of Heroes” for its four Medal of Honor recipients.

The committee and Lamborn looked south of Colorado Springs for a cemetery site, someplace that could easily hold Pueblo’s honored dead.

“It was a compromise everyone could live with,” Lamborn said.

Lamborn amended his measure to call for a southern Colorado veteran’s cemetery. With Democratic help, it passed.

Lamborn credits his first victory and still-proudest moment in the House to persistence.

“I was the squeaky wheel,” he said.

But an alliance that spanned the partisan divide wasn’t enough to change minds at the VA. The agency stood by its 75-mile rule, Congress be damned.

And then, Lamborn and Fernandez say, a higher power intervened.

Lamborn worked with the veterans committee to wrangle a field hearing in Colorado Springs to let Fernandez and others bring their concerns directly to VA brass. It was set for May 2, 2008.

The VA brass, led by Undersecretary William Tuerk, arrived in Denver obdurate in their devotion to the 75-mile rule.

As they drove south, the first flakes fell around Castle Rock. They hit Monument Hill in a blizzard.

The committee heard convincing arguments from Fernandez and others. Widows complained about the tough trip to Denver for mourners. But the storm VA bosses crawled through on Interstate 25 was the best evidence, Lamborn and Fernandez said.

“God works in great ways,” Fernandez said.

The first contract for the cemetery off Drennan Road east of the airport was approved this fall. That makes the project a reality for the first time.

Lamborn — son of Robert Lamborn who enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served three and a half years in the military, working and fighting in nine countries, including Malta, Sicily, Corsica and France — says it’s a place men like his dad deserve.

“It’s appropriate to give the highest sense of dignity to those who served,” Lamborn said.

Fernandez says it’s a place where he can reunite with his comrades in the afterlife. He wants to rejoin the artillery battery he led in Vietnam when he goes.

“Those 200 draftees, they were good people,” he said.

And thanks to determination and chance, Fernandez said he’ll get his wish.

Related Items

Letter to Sec Mcdonald - CBOC

More on Veterans Cemetery Information

November 11, 2017 In The News

Nearly two decades after a local coalition began its push for a national cemetery, more than 80,000 Pikes Peak region veterans will soon have a final place to call home.

Ground will be broken soon on the Pikes Peak National Cemetery near the Colorado Springs Airport after an effort that brought together unlikely allies and a few circumstances that backers of the cemetery attribute to having God on their side.

September 20, 2017 Press Release

Congressman Lamborn is pleased to announce a milestone in construction of the Pikes Peak National Cemetery in Colorado Springs. The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $31 Million construction contract to a developer with a Fall 2019 completion date.

February 10, 2016 Press Release

January 27, 2016 Press Release

Today Congressman Lamborn released the following statement regarding the discovery that the VA secretly paid an Illinois-based hospital director $86,000 to resign: