featured graphic for Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva

Proposed Veteran Cemetery Bill takes new step forward

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva is taking action to bring veteran organizations and the City of Irvine together as partners, to fulfill the dream of an Orange County Cemetery to honor the Veterans who have served our nation.

“I believe that our work to bring a veteran cemetery to Orange County is long overdue.” said Quirk-Silva. “AB 368 will reflect the views of Irvine city leaders, legislators, as well as most every veteran organization in the region.” continued Quirk-Silva. The bill, as proposed to be amended, will authorize a site on the former El Toro base that is known as the “Golf Course Site.” The new proposed site addresses both school and neighborhood issues. In addition, funding is almost complete. The measure also includes a directive that states the funds are to be protected for the cemetery.

The reaction to the announcement of the proposed new site was both swift and optimistic. Nick Berardino, the President of the Veterans Alliance of Orange County (VALOR), said “We are finally poised to secure a cemetery to honor our veterans. We are confident that the legislature will stand with veterans to give our nation’s heroes a place of final rest and peace.”

In addition to the now broad veteran support, local schools weighed in with their appreciation for the change in sites. Terry Walker, the Superintendent of the Irvine Unified School District, stated that, “We sincerely appreciate Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s consideration of the concerns articulated in our letter. The safety and well-being of our students is a primary focus, so we thank you for your support in helping to protect and preserve the quality of our school learning environments.”

The former chair of the Assembly Veterans Committee, Quirk-Silva added “While I respect those who have pressed for the ARDA site, local support for the new site continues to grow throughout both the Legislature and from Orange County. We know that the Veterans Cemetery in Los Angeles is at capacity, and the lengthy wait for veterans to be buried in the Riverside Veterans Cemetery is insufficient for many families wanting to respect their loved ones.”

Quirk-Silva closed with the comment: “The funds for a cemetery are there, the land is there, we have legislative, veteran and local support. The time to build this cemetery is now.”

The measure is expected to be acted upon at the end of August, by the State Senate Appropriations Committee.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.