SACRAMENTO â On Tuesday, May 30, a day after Memorial Day, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (Fullerton) was the focus of a stealth texting, email and robocall campaign in Fullerton that has been operating in order to mislead public opinion against the veterans cemetery project; saying that Orange County money would be spent on a âpet projectâ outside Assembly District 65 and given to Irvine.
âA resting place for Californiaâs veterans is not a âpet project,ââ Quirk-Silva said. âIt is a necessary and important project for our veterans in California. The state funds in question were secured for a cemetery that all Southern California Veterans have earned. It's shameful that some would try to disrupt the funding for a veterans cemetery a day after Memorial Day, and for political gain.â
This year, the state, federal, and local governments have agreed to allocate the money needed to construct the cemetery. It is a combined $30 million from the state budget, $38 million from the City of Irvine, and $10 million in federal grant money. Californiaâs Department of Veterans Affairs estimated the first phase of the project â including the demolition of the site and construction of a portion of the cemetery â would cost $77.4 million.
âAs we approach the special city council hearing on the veterans cemetery in Irvine on June 6th, I urge all involved to be reasonable, and do what is best for our veterans,â said Quirk-Silva. âQuestionable political tactics, whether overt or covert, have no place in a process that works to memorialize our nationâs beloved heroes. Please, let us move forward, and settle on a site for an Orange County Veterans Cemetery.â
A veterans cemetery in Orange County is seriously needed. When fully built out, the cemetery will offer more than 210,000 gravesites, enough to serve the needs of veterans for the next 100 years, according to the state. Men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this nation deserve proper recognition without further delay, and it remains up to the City of Irvine to decide on an appropriate site.
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