WASHINGTON, DC - Memorial Day will be marked this year not only by parades and testimonials, but also by the expansion of the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, U. S. Senators Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Tom Carper announced today. The Department of Veteran Affairs awarded the State of Delaware $218,484 in federal funding to expand the veteran cemetery in Millsboro. The funds will allow for an additional 384 niches in the cemetery columbarium. The columbarium is a wall with honeycomb niches for urns filled with cremated remains. The demand for additional space follows a larger trend towards cremation. Delaware veterans who have been honorably discharged from active duty can use the cemetery. The columbarium feature is growing in popularity. "This cemetery is a central part of our State's history and a tribute to all of the brave Delawareans who selflessly served our country with honor and distinction," said Senator Biden. "This grant will help ensure that their final resting place is emblematic of their enduring service and high sacrifice." As Governor, Carper supported the Veterans cemetery, helping to break ground at the site and dedicate it upon its opening in October 1999. "The freedom our nation enjoys today exists in no small part because of the triumphs of our veterans. The Veterans Memorial Cemetery honors their lives in a way that few other tributes can," said Carper, a fellow veteran and retired Navy Captain. "On Memorial Day we pause to celebrate the contribution of America's veterans. Today there is special recognition for those in Delaware." The grant completes the master plan for the section around the assembly area, expands the number of niches, and guarantees that there is plenty of space to provide room for veterans for decades in the future. "We appreciate the support that we've received from Senator Carper and Senator Biden," said Wes Jones, Administrator for Delaware's Veterans Memorial Hospital. The Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro is home to the state's largest annual Flag Day celebration. On June 14th, hundreds of Delawareans will gather at the site to retire worn and tattered flags and to honor those veterans who were interred without military honors. Last year more than 600 flags were retired.