A new cemetery in southeastern Minnesota is in the works for veterans, and several dignitaries will attend Friday’s ceremonial groundbreaking.

The 169-acre burial site is located just off Hwy. 52 in Preston and is scheduled to open in 2015.

The land was donated by Fillmore County and the city, with $10 million in funding for construction coming from the Federal Cemetery Administration to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

The land rises up to rolling hills with stunning vistas and drops down to the Root River.

The cemetery will include a main entrance, administration building, assembly area, pre-placed crypts, cremation/burial areas, columbarium (public storage area for urns) and a memorial walk.

Participants in the 11 a.m. ceremony include: Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito; Steve Muro, U.S. Veterans Affairs undersecretary for memorial affairs; U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, and County Commissioner Chuck Amunrud.

Paul Walsh