An Open Letter to Orange County's Veterans
Recently, I heard from Chairman Bill Cook of the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation. At his request, I provided him my position on the proposed Veterans cemetery in Irvine:
Dear Chair Cook and Orange County Veterans:
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of joining many of you speaking to the Irvine City Council in support of the site adjacent to I-5, or as many in our community know as “the Swap.”
During that meeting, I spoke in support of the cemetery as an individual who grew up in Irvine alongside the children of Americans stationed at MCAS Tustin and MCAS El Toro. As a college student, many of my friends chose to enlist in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And, as a City Commissioner, I served on the City’s Task Force on Veterans Affordable Housing. In all of those capacities, my love of country and admiration for our servicemen and women have grown.
I was disappointed in the outcome of that meeting earlier this year, as it was and remains my personal belief that the community would see a veterans cemetery “on-the-ground,” much sooner and without unnecessary additional development steps with the swap site in contrast to the originally proposed ARDA site.
That said, I reaffirm my strong support for a veterans cemetery to be located in Irvine. Toward that end, I remain committed as a Commissioner, as a private citizen, and whatever capacity in which I might be blessed to serve, to work with our entire community to advance a veterans cemetery to honor our fallen men and women in uniform.
Please let me know when we can meet to further discuss your proposal. Thank you for the opportunity to address this important issue. I hope you will reach out again if I can be helpful in any way.