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Irvine OKs Plans To Turn Portion Of OC's Great Park Into Veterans Cemetery

IRVINE ( — Lawmakers in Irvine are moving forward with plans to use a portion of the Orange County Great Park for a veterans cemetery.

In a vote Tuesday night, the Irvine City Council unanimously voted to designate up to 125 acres of the former Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro, for the proposed Orange County Veterans Cemetery.

Democratic Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva said a total of 19 cities have now signed resolutions supporting Assembly Bill 1453, which would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to apply to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs State Cemetery Grant Program for funding to begin construction on the cemetery.

The closest regional option for Orange County veterans is the Riverside Veterans Cemetery, which offers neither a convenient location nor a long-term solution for the large number of Orange County veterans and their families, according to the National Cemetery Administration.

Silva told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO it's exciting to see the plan finally coming together after a long effort by local veterans groups.

"It's not really about the long timeline we have, but it's really about the interest and the passion that so many of these veterans have been working on," said Silva. "For many of them, they've been working on this for over a decade."

In addition to veterans' support, over 2,000 members of the 65th Assembly District - which the communities of Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, Hawaiian Gardens, La Palma, Stanton, and West Anaheim - have called to support the proposal, according to Quirk-Silva.

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