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As its name would suggest, Fort Richardson National Cemetery is located off of Fort Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska. Spanning thirty-nine acres, some of the grave sites may be inaccessible depending on the amount of snowfall. As of late 2006, the cemetery is home to 4,527 internments. There were once 235 Japanese soldiers from World War II interred here (some however remain). It became recognized as a National Cemetery on May 28, 1984 and added on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.


  • A bugler playing at a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort Richardson National Cemetery
  • The headstones of Fort Richardson

The site at Fort Richardson was originally intended to be a temporary burial site for soldiers of any nationality who had fallen in World War II. While consisting mostly of deceased American troops, the cemetery would also become the home of 235 dead Japanese soldiers who died fighting in the Aleutian Islands. The cemetery was divided into the "Allied Plot", a fenced-in area for US soldiers, and an "Enemy Plot" outside the fence for those Japanese soldiers. In 1953, most of the fallen Japanese were exhumed and given proper Shinto and Buddhist cremations and ceremonies and returned to next of kin in Japan; some relatives decided to leave their fallen soldiers in Alaska. Nearby Japanese citizens had a cenotaph constructed in May of 1981 to honor those fallen Japanese. This cenotaph was replaced with a new one in September of 2002.

Also interred at Fort Richardson is Major Kermit Roosevelt, who was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt. Kermit had originally served with the British Army in WWII, but fought for the US when they entered the war. He was famous for accompanying pilots on their missions around Aleutian Islands and for getting Alaskan tribesmen to join a regional militia. A memorial stone gateway was constructed in 1949 to honor Major Roosevelt. Another notable person interred at Fort Richardson is Medal of Honor winner Staff Sergeant James Leroy Bondsteel. Bondsteel served the US Army during the Vietnam War.

"Fort Richardson National Cemetery", accessed on October 15, 2014. http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/ftrichardson.asp