Cook: The Time to Build the Southern California Veterans Cemetery is Now

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Hurrah and thank you, the funds are here! Much thanks to the faithful dedicated work of Sharon Quirk-Silva in the legislature landing $24.5 Million with AB368 and it’s 2014 predecessor AB1453. And much thanks to the gracious and generous $28 Million private sector contribution by the builder of the Great Park, FivePoint CEO Emile Haddad. Without the participation of FivePoint, construction of SCVC is unimaginable. And of course gratitude to Senator Umberg and Assemblymember Daly for their help.

Hurrah and thank you Mayor Christina Shea and the Irvine council, the essential land is there! In the Great Park, and at the center of old MCAS El Toro. 100 acres which we would have picked first if we had our druthers back in 1999 when MCAS El Toro closed and the Veterans Cemetery quest began. 100 acres, unencumbered by contaminated buildings, directly in line of the old main gate of MCAS El Toro, now destined to become a revered and honored place for your Veterans. As we have said from the beginning, SCVC will make MCAS El Toro a truly Great Park, for decades and generations to come.

“The City of Irvine is looking forward to working with the State of California to negotiate the transfer of the ‘Golf Course’ site to the State, as quickly as possible, to realize a true resting place for our American heroes” said Mayor Shea.

Hurrah, we have legislative support! Not quite unanimous for now however. (We have difficulty comprehending the recalcitrant opposition.) AB368 is “in suspense”, scheduled for “Hearing on 30-AUG-19 Upon adjournment of Session.”

To those conducting urgent business in Sacramento we ask for your support and votes to move the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA VETERANS CEMETERY forward. Please, if your desire is as ours for a Veterans Cemetery on old MCAS El Toro, feel motivated to contact Senators of the Appropriations Committee, and Governor Newsom to express your feelings. Do it now.

Hurrah, we have Veterans and local support! The Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, representing Veterans and Civic organizations, many families and Veteran supporters, is in full support of AB 368 as proposed to be amended:

“…site of approximately 100 acres known as the Golf Course Site in the Orange County Great Park ….”

Veterans and families have been anxiously awaiting SCVC for years. Many of our colleagues have passed from us during this lengthy process. Veterans of WWII, Korea, and VietNam admonish us to get a move on, they are quickly expiring. We often hear of loved ones remains being kept at home, preserved for the day they may be interred with honor in SCVC, and of those whose families wish to have moved to SCVC (CalVet’s website provides instructions).

Irvine’s schools and Great Park neighbors are pleased as well. Of course we have dissent and illogical deception from the usual suspects, which now seems inexplicably regular for this Veterans Cemetery process. There is but one and no other legislated, funded, in the Great Park ready location for SCVC and that is the ‘Golf Course’.

To quote from President Lincoln at the dedication address of the Gettysburg battlefield cemetery; “It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.”

Indeed Sharon, “The time to build this cemetery is now.”  Let’s do this OC!

Bill Cook, Chairman Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation

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