Each year millions of tourists vist Civil War battle sites and burial grounds.. Here is something new to visit and see. ********************************************************************* Civil War Soldiers to be Buried in Massachusetts National Cemetery WASHINGTON (June 12, 2006) - One hundred and forty-five years after their deaths on a battlefield in northern Virginia, six Union soldiers from the Civil War are returning home to Massachusetts. They were buried with full military honors on June 10 at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. "These soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice for the preservation of our nation," said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "We don't know their names. We cannot locate their families. But we are honored to provide a lasting tribute to their service on the hallowed grounds of a national cemetery." The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) buried the remains in a VA-run cemetery, which is maintained in perpetuity as "a national shrine," five weeks shy of the 145th anniversary of their deaths on July 18, 1861, the eve of the first battle of Manassas. VA and the Massachusetts Sons of Union Veterans planned a burial ceremony June 10 at 11:00 a.m. at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. The ceremony included Civil War re-enactors and full military honors. The remains were discovered in 1997 on a construction site in Centreville, Va. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute identified the remains as soldiers of the 1st Massachusetts infantry who were killed during a skirmish known as Blackburn's Ford. Scientists were unable to establish the identities of the soldiers. The Massachusetts Sons of Union Soldiers, working with Fairfax County, Va., which had legal custody of the remains, arranged for the transfer to their home state. Like other veterans of the armed forces, the Civil War soldiers are eligible for burial in a VA-maintained national cemetery. Veterans with a discharge other than dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a national cemetery. Other burial benefits available for all eligible veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker. In the midst of the largest cemetery expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 123 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than three million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict - from the Revolutionary War to the current war against terrorism - are buried in VA's national cemeteries on more than 16,000 acres of land. Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at http://www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 1 800-827-1000. For more information on the Massachusetts event call Paul McFarland, Cemetery Director, at (508) 563-7113.