The New York State Veterans Cemetery – Finger Lakes formerly known as the Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery occupies 162 acres along Seneca Lake in Romulus, Seneca County, and is adjacent to Sampson State Park.
The Cemetery is located at the site of the former Sampson Naval Training Station and Sampson Air Force Base, where hundreds of thousands of service members trained during World War II and the Korean War. The site later functioned as a temporary college and a separation center for service members being discharged, and officially closed in 2000.
The Cemetery is located near Waterloo, the community recognized as the birthplace of Memorial Day. The site was chosen in 2021 as the location of New York’s first State Veterans Cemetery by a committee appointed for that purpose.
DVS took over the Cemetery on February 1, 2023.
The New York State Veterans Cemetery – Finger Lakes provides an opportunity for families to conduct a 30-minute Final Committal service. For the comfort and safety of families, services are held at a Committal Shelter. (Gravesite services are normally not conducted.)
Upon completion of services at the Committal Shelter, cemetery/funeral personnel will escort the remains to the gravesite and complete the burial. Clergy, family, and friends are welcome to pay final respects at the gravesite once the burial is complete, and burial personnel and equipment have left the site.
Funeral Directors/Next of Kin (NOK) are responsible for scheduling any Clergy, Honor Guards, etc. that will be part of the Committal Service. Cemetery personnel can assist NOK with contact information for these services if requested.
Marble headstones will be ordered by the cemetery once the burial is complete. We request your understanding that cold weather months can delay some monument maintenance activity.
Burial in the New York State Veterans Cemetery - Finger Lakes is an honor reserved for Armed Forces Veterans discharged from active duty under other than dishonorable conditions.
Also entitled to burial in the cemetery are the veteran’s legal spouse and eligible dependent children.
Any enlisted person that entered active duty after September 7, 1980, or an officer commissioned after October 16, 1981, must have served 24 consecutive months to be considered for burial. This does not apply to Veterans Killed in Action.
Also eligible for burial is any person who was discharged or released for disability or hardship, and Reservists who are eligible for retirement.
At the time of need (when a death has occurred), the next of kin should contact a funeral home of their choice. To avoid possible delays it is recommended that Veterans and Families consider pre-arraignments with a Funeral Director prior to the time of need. It will ensure that your wishes are documented and paperwork such as the veteran's discharge, marriage certificate etc. is easily accessible when needed.
When needed, the funeral home will fax or email the necessary information and documents to the cemetery to arrange for interment.
To determine the veteran's eligibility and eligible dependents, the funeral home will need the veteran’s full name; rank; branch of service; the character of discharge; date of entry, and discharge date. Service number should be included if applicable.
This information can be found on the veteran's military discharge records, and a copy will need to be forwarded to the cemetery.
If a Funeral Home is not involved in scheduling services for the family, the cemetery will accept correspondence for scheduling with the next-of-kin (NOK).
Documents and Forms
If you need assistance, or just want to learn more about the benefits and services you may be eligible for, schedule an appointment with one of our Veterans Benefits Advisors, all Veterans themselves.
- Call 1-888-838-7697 to speak to an advisor.
- Schedule a phone or video consultation online.
- Use our search to find a Services Office near you.