U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) issued the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives passed their bill, the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act (S. 35), legislation that will facilitate a permanent land transfer of approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery outside of Sturgis, South Dakota. The bill, which the senators reintroduced during the first week of the 115th Congress, passed the Senate by voice vote in December 2017. Their bill now heads to the president for his signature.
“Wyoming is one of the few states without a VA National Cemetery, so I am glad that Congress was able to pass this legislation to ensure we are working to provide a resting place for Wyoming’s veterans,” said Enzi. “Veterans and their families deserve to know that there will always be a place where their families can honor their legacy for generations to come. I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law soon.”
“Our veterans deserve a resting place as majestic and solemn as the Black Hills National Cemetery, and I’m glad this important, years-long initiative that will help to continue honoring our heroes – now and for generations to come – is finally nearing the finish line,” said Thune. “It’s a small yet meaningful gesture for the men and women who gave far more than we’ll ever be able to repay.”
“It’s important that South Dakota’s veterans know there will be space for them to rest peacefully at the Black Hills National Cemetery,” said Rounds. “I am pleased that our commonsense legislation to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery passed the House today, and will now head to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”
Under current law, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act limits transfers like this one to a lifespan of 20 years. The Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act will make this particular transfer permanent.