Sarasota National Cemetery Initiative FAQs
- How do I offer my company’s services as a potential vendor for this project?
The Patterson Foundation thanks you for your interest in Patriot Plaza. At this time, however, we are not entertaining any direct or indirect contact with prospective vendors. Thank you for your understanding.
- Why did The Patterson Foundation select the Sarasota National Cemetery to honor the Patterson heritage?
The Patterson family has a multi-generational record of honorable military service to our country. Jim Patterson graduated from West Point and served during World War II. In 2009, the Sarasota National Cemetery opened, offering burials to honorably discharged veterans, their spouses and certain dependent children at no charge. This initiative will honor the Patterson family’s commitment to veterans and service to our nation.
In addition, this work is designed to honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom.
- What is a National Cemetery?
A National Cemetery is a cemetery where honorably discharged veterans, their spouses and certain dependent children are interred at no charge. Sarasota National Cemetery is one of 131 national shrines managed and maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information and eligibility go to www.cem.va.gov.
- What is the master plan for the development of the Sarasota National Cemetery?
The master plan shows the development of the entire 295 acres in phases. The initial phase includes the building, Patriot Plaza and infrastructure necessary to support the facility. Subsequent phases will be developed to provide burial space for 10 years. There are five major phases in the master plan for Sarasota National Cemetery, which will be funded by congressional appropriations.
Enhancements to Sarasota National Cemetery beyond those included in the master plan would need to be funded by private gifts, such as Patriot Plaza, the ceremonial amphitheater fully funded by The Patterson Foundation.
- Where is the Sarasota National Cemetery?
The cemetery is in Sarasota County at 9810 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241.
Take I-75 to exit 205. Travel east on State Rd 72 (also known as Clark Road or Veterans Memorial Parkway) for 4.5 miles. The Sarasota National Cemetery is on the right.
- Doesn’t the U.S. Government pay for the development of Sarasota National Cemetery?
Yes. The design, permitting and construction of Sarasota National Cemetery are federally funded by congressional appropriations specific for this project. The purchase of the property was $14 million and the construction of Phase 1 is being provided by a $28 million appropriation.
- Why enhance a government facility?
Sarasota National Cemetery is a new facility. Construction was completed in December 2012. The enhancements to the National Cemetery Administration will not only beautify the ceremonial area with amphitheater-style seating, shade and art work that provides an educational feature further honoring our nation’s heroes.
With this project, The Patterson Foundation wishes to honor Capt. James Patterson and his father Capt. Joseph Patterson along with all veterans to encourage future generations to learn and honor all veterans and their service.
- What is Patriot Plaza?
Patriot Plaza is a ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. At 1.83 acres (and larger than a football field) Patriot Plaza includes an 80-foot stainless steel flagpole and a stage or rostrum that fits a whole orchestra and is surrounded by seating area for 2,800 people. Ceremonies, dedications and large gatherings will be conducted in this area.
Fully funded by The Patterson Foundation, the multi-million-dollar amphitheater will be donated to the National Cemetery Administration in 2014. The groundbreaking occurred in December 2012.
- Are funeral services held in the ceremonial area?
Funeral services or committal services which consist of religious service and/or military honors are held at Committal Shelters, not in the ceremonial area.
- What ceremonies are held at cemeteries?
Patriotic ceremonies typically conducted in a national cemetery would include but are not limited to: Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Fourth of July and other special celebrations. Ceremonies or dedications must be requested and approved by the cemetery director. The Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Committee, veteran service organizations or any affiliation recognized for their support and honor of veterans may request the use of the ceremonial area for patriotic events.
- What will Patriot Plaza look like?
The design of Patriot Plaza is that of an amphitheater with stage area –called a rostrum – the size of one-and-a-half tennis courts. The focal point of the space is an 80-foot stainless steel flagpole. Incorporated throughout the 1.83 acres (larger than a football field) will be a beautiful, extensive commissioned art to educate visitors
- How much will The Patterson Foundation be spending on this project?
Patriot Plaza is fully funded by The Patterson Foundation and is a multi-million-dollar endeavor. No taxpayer dollars will be used. The Patterson Foundation will endow the replacement maintenance of the structure and art, ensuring Patriot Plaza’s beauty in perpetuity.
- Why aren't you using funding to help veterans?
The Patterson Foundation has the opportunity, flexibility and responsibility to do work others can’t, won’t or aren’t. Patriot Plaza – a first-ever partnership between private philanthropy and the National Cemetery Administration – will honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom.
Over the next 14 months, the Legacy of Valor campaign will facilitate partnerships within the community that honor veterans, inspire patriotism and embrace freedom. Events that are part of the Legacy of Valor campaign will reflect multiple partnerships that connect throughout the entire community.
- How can I make suggestions on what should be done at the site?
Patriot Plaza’s design has been approved and meets all requirements of a national shrine set by the National Cemetery Administration and is within the intended scope of the master plan.
- When will this project be completed?
In December 2012, The Patterson Foundation – in partnership with the National Cemetery Administration – broke ground on Patriot Plaza. A dedication is anticipated for 2014.
- What team is working on the construction of Patriot Plaza?
Led by Initiative Consultant Sandra Beckely:
- Art Bryant, Development Logistics Group – Owners Representative
- Gary Hoyt, Hoyt Architects – Design Architect
- Ann Wykell, Social Sector Solutions – Art Consultant
- David E. Sessions, Willis A. Smith Construction – Construction Manager
- How can I learn more about the Sarasota National Cemetery?
Eligibility for burial, location of national cemeteries and any other information is available at www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/sarasota.asp.
- How can I find out if I qualify to be buried at Sarasota National Cemetery?
Eligibility for burial, location of national cemeteries and any other information is available at www.cem.va.gov
- How can I submit my qualifications for art that will be incorporated into the Assembly Area?
The call for artists is now closed. For specific questions, please email Ann Wykell, art consultant to The Patterson Foundation - firstname.lastname@example.org.