West Virginia National Cemetery is located approximately five miles west of Grafton, W.Va., in Taylor County. Beginning in the 1960s, it became increasingly apparent that the Grafton National Cemetery was running out of burial space. As a result, West Virginia veterans’ organizations began lobbying for a second national cemetery. In 1975, after extensive studies to determine whether or not Grafton could be expanded, authorities determined that the grounds were too steep and the cost too prohibitive. The West Virginia United Veterans National Cemetery Committee was formed and began to pressure the governor and members of the congressional delegation for a new national cemetery.
After extensive negotiations between the Veterans Administration and the state, a 58-acre tract that had been part of the West Virginia Industrial School for Boys was selected for use as a new cemetery. The land was transferred, but construction was delayed by inclement weather and negotiations with local contractors. Although construction was incomplete, the cemetery was dedicated Sept. 27, 1987, and opened for interments the following day.