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What are some facts about the VA cemetery in Houston, TX?

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The Veterans Administration cemetery in Houston was the only government cemetery constructed in the United States during the 1960s. It was the largest of its kind at the time of construction and is the current Houston National Cemetery. The VA staff designed the cemetery for the burial of the remains of military veterans and service members at no cost to the surviving families.

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The Houston VA cemetery is one of the largest in the United States, sitting on a 419-acre piece of land. Established in December 1965, the cemetery became a national burial place in 1973 after the passage of the National Cemetery Act. The cemetery's focal point is the horseshoe-shaped building at its center known as the Hemicycle. The Hemicycle contains a chapel, a bell tower and a courtyard that can accommodate up to 5,000 people and serves as a venue for memorial services.

The cemetery had more than 85,000 graves as of 2014. The most renowned veteran buried in the cemetery is Albert Thomas, who was a U.S. Congressman from Texas. Albert served as a lieutenant in the army during World War I and served almost 30 years in the United States House of Representatives. All U.S. veterans, together with their families, are eligible for burial in the cemetery.

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