A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of deceased Veterans who are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. This program was initiated in March 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and has been continued by all subsequent Presidents. Statutory authority for the program is Section 112, Title 38, of the United States Code. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the PMC program by preparing the certificates which bear the current President's signature expressing the country's grateful recognition of the Veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces. The PMC is authorized for Veterans who are eligible for burial in a national cemetery by reason of any of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), or (7) of section 2402(a) of title 38 U.S. Code §112.
If you have already requested a PMC more than sixteen (16) weeks ago and have not received it yet, please call 1-202-565-4964 to find out the status of your request. Please do not send a second application unless we request you to do so. Veteran Service Officers and Funeral Homes: If you have questions about the status of a request please contact us at 1-202-565-4964. You may also send request for status by email to [email protected].
Providing burial and memorial benefits for Veterans and their eligible family members, and maintains national cemeteries as national shrines, sacred to the honor and memory of those interred or memorialized there. The VA provides compassionate, professional services to ease families through the loss of their loved one. Watch this video to learn more about VA Memorial Benefits.
If your burial request involves interment at a Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery, contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117. NARA works directly with the Veterans Affairs staff to obtain records to verify service for burial benefits. If the veteran is not going to be interred at a National Cemetery, the requester may fax the SF-180 or signature page from eVetRecs (including signature of the next of kin and proof of death) to the NARA Customer Service Team at 314-801-0764.
Burial at Sea is a means of final disposition of remains that is performed on United States Navy vessels. The committal ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed. Therefore, family members are not allowed to be present. The commanding officer of the ship assigned to perform the ceremony will notify the family of the date, time, and longitude and latitude once the committal service has been completed.
Individuals eligible for this program are:
(1) active duty members of the uniformed services;
(2) retirees and veterans who were honorably discharged.
(3) U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command; and
(4) dependent family members of active duty personnel, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services.
How to get started
After the death of the individual for whom the request for Burial at Sea is being made, the Person Authorized to Direct Disposition (PADD) should contact the Navy and Marine Corps Mortuary Affairs office at 1-866-787-0081 to request a packet and for additional information.
Supporting documents which must accompany this request are:
(1) a photocopy of the death certificate
(2) the burial transit permit or the cremation certificate
(3) a copy of the DD Form 214, discharge certificate, or retirement order.
The Burial at Sea Request Form and the three supporting documents listed above make up the Burial at Sea Request package.
A Burial Flag is required for all committal services performed aboard United States Naval vessels, except family members, who are not authorized a burial flag. Following the services at sea, the flag that accompanied the cremains/remains will be returned to the PADD. If the PADD does not wish to send a burial flag for the service, a flag will be provided by the Navy for the committal service, but will not be sent to the PADD.
Cremated Remains (Cremains)
Cremains must be in an urn or temporary container (preferably Bio-degradable) to prevent spillage in shipping. Recent changes in law prohibit the discharge of plastics at sea. Families are encouraged to have the cremains inurned directly, or transferred to a sturdy biodegradable urn at their local funeral home to facilitate burial at sea. Burial at Sea Coordinators at the ports of embarkation are available to field any questions regarding the urns. The cremains, along with the completed Burial at Sea Request package should be forwarded to the Burial at Sea Coordinator at the desired port of embarkation (listed below). Prior to shipment, it is recommended that a phone call be made informing the coordinator of the pending request. ONLY Priority Mail Express Service is authorized when shipping cremains and it is recommended that that Tracking and Signature On Delivery is used to ensure the package is delivered to the correct individual in a timely manner.
Intact Remains (Casketed)
Specific guidelines are required for the preparation of casketed remains. All expenses incurred in this process are the responsibility of the PADD, who will select a funeral home in the area of the port of embarkation. After this selection has been made and notification has been provided to the coordinator, the casketed remains, the request form, supporting documents, and the burial flag are to be forwarded to the receiving funeral home. The coordinator will make the inspection and complete the checklist for the preparation of casketed remains. It is recommended that funeral homes responsible for preparing and shipping intact remains contact the Mortuary Services office at Navy Casualty in Millington, TN to receive the preparation requirement