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Clark Veterans Cemetery is one of the historical landmarks visited by tourists in north of Angeles City in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga.
Clark Veterans Cemetery is known for housing the remains of more than 8,6000 mainly American veterans and Filipino scouts who served in the United States Army.
Those who passed away in conflicts other than the World War II or on the military bases in the Philippines were also laid to rest in this burial place.
Its origins can be traced to the 1900s when the Spanish and American war ended.
When the second World War concluded in 1946, the governments of the United States and the Philippines said that the largest cemetery at Fort William McKinley in Manila will serve as the cemetery and memorial for those who died during the World War II. The casualty totals to around 17,000. However, the burial place cannot accommodate the thousands of remains so the US government decided to choose Clark, then known as Fort Stontsenburg, as the new home for those non-World War II dead already buried there.
The two states transferred the remains of non-World War II fatalities to Fort Stotsenburg’s cemetery now known as Clark Veterans Cemetery.
They did the relocation of bodies four three months from January to March 1948.
The cemetery reportedly continued to be open for burials after the transfer, but it had been damaged during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 and became in poor condition.
The Philippine government allowed members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2485 to handle the operation of the cemetery from 1994 and 2013.
Clark Veterans Cemetery is now being operated and maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission after US President Barack Obama signed into law the Dignified Burial and Other Veterans’ benefits Improvement Act also known as Public Law 112-260 in January 2013.
The law orders the American Battle Monuments Commission to take care of the cemetery after an agreement between the Philippines and US signed in December 2013. It is the commission’s 25th cemetery.
At present, the burial ground is located along Roxas Avenue inside the main gate to the Clark Development Corporation.
It is just few hours away from Manila by taking the SCTEX or the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway.
Tourists who want to revisit the Philippine history may visit the cemetery and memorial daily. It is open to public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., except on December 25 and January 1 holidays.