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KGNS: Laredo cemetery working on making more space for veteran gravestones

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LAREDO, Texas, November 11, 2015 | comments

Updated: Wed 10:50 PM, Nov 11, 2015

By: Renee Santos 

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - Veteran's Day marks a day to honor and remember all current and fallen veterans.

Many people paid their respects by visiting the city's cemetery, placing flowers on loved one's gravestones.

But people are concerned about the limited space at that cemetery.

The designated area to bury veterans at the city's cemetery is quickly running out of space.

Right now an alternative temporary solution has been added to make room for future fallen veterans, until an even bigger cemetery is built with more space.

Hundreds of flags sway as the sun shines over Laredo's city cemetery.

Here you'll find Javier Vera placing flowers on his great grandpa's gravestone.

"I have various family members that have served in the war so I came to visit them in observance of Veterans Day", said Vera.

But family members of future fallen veterans won't be able to place flowers in front of their loved one's gravestones here, unless something is done.

As it stands there are currently 80 spaces left to fill. With over 100 veterans dying every year that amount of space is quickly running out.

"A lot of war world two veterans are at that age where they are dying at a faster rate, a hundred veterans a year and that should go up within the next two,three,four years", said Segovia.

This is why Jesus Segovia, commander for Laredo's Veterans Coalition brought in these columbariums, above ground units with compartments for ashes.

"We managed to get three columbariums it'll save 144 spaces", said Segovia.

Segovia says this is only a temporary solution- the goal is to have a bigger cemetery with a designated area to bury fallen veterans.

"It is important to us to have a cemetery dedicated only for veterans", said Segovia.

As for Vera, he says he's all for that idea.

"I think the city needs to purchase some more land because I don't think that it's appropriate", said Vera.

Each columbarium at the city's cemetery holds 48 spaces for funeral urns to be stored.

Segovia says he plans to add two more columbariums with will make room for an additional 96 spaces.

He says the city is currently with congressman Henry Cuellar on creating a mega cemetery by combing the Catholic and city side to create a bigger designated area to bury veterans.

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