The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced the grand opening ceremony for Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, June 12, on property donated by the Louisiana National Guard at Camp Villere in Slidell.

This cemetery will provide for the needs of the approximately 100,000 veterans and their families who reside in and around Southeast Louisiana. Approximately seven miles northwest of Slidell on South Perimeter Road, the site is visible from Interstate 12. The entrance is just outside the gates of Camp Villere.

According to a release from the VA, the Louisiana National Guard donated 75 acres for this cemetery with 21 acres planned for use in the initial development.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funded $8,383,591 for initial costs. Construction began October 2012.

The VA grant paid for a main entrance, an administration and public information center, a maintenance facility, roads, an assembly area, a committal shelter, full casketed gravesites, preplaced crypts, cremains gravesites, memorial and scatter burial areas, columbaria, landscaping, a memorial walkway and supporting infrastructure.

LDVA operates two other Veterans cemeteries, Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville, just south of Shreveport, and Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery just outside Fort Polk in Leesville.

Planning is underway for Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville.