LITTLE FALLS -- A central Minnesota cemetery has earned national recognition.

The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls was presented with the Operational Excellence Award from the National Cemetery Administration last week. The administration is part of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

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In July 2021, an independent review of the cemetery examined 95 standards in categories including internment operations, grounds maintenance, equipment maintenance, and headstone, marker, and niche cover.  The site earned an average score of 96.3 percent and met 100 percent of critical priority standards.

The cemetery is the only state veterans cemetery in the country to receive the award in 2021. They also earned similar recognition back in 2011. The Little Falls site is one of three state veterans cemeteries in Minnesota.

Since 1994, more than 9,000 veterans and spouses have been buried there.

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