Quirk-Silva’s Veterans Cemetery bill passes committee

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s (D-Fullerton) Assembly Bill (AB) 1453, a bill that would establish a veterans cemetery in Orange County, passed with unanimous support in the State Assembly Veterans Affairs committee.“Orange County’s Veterans and their families deserve an accessible location to celebrate the life and contributions of the brave men and women who have courageously served our nation. In addition to the positive outcome today, we have gathered outpouring support from 15 Orange County cities, endorsements from veteran community stakeholders and over 2,000 constituents have contacted our office in support of this project. These are all signs that we must continue to advocate toward finding a final resting place, close to home, for our country’s heroes,” stated Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva.California is home to more veterans than any other state in the nation with a majority of those veterans residing in Southern California. According to the National Cemetery Administration, the closest regional option for Orange County veterans is Riverside Veterans Cemetery, which offers neither a convenient location nor long term solutions for the large number of Orange County veterans and their families.Assembly Bill 1453 would direct the California Department of Veteran Affairs, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and participating city councils to work collaboratively to design, develop and construct a state-owned / state-operated Orange County Veterans Cemetery.“What this bill represents to veterans is the acknowledgment of service and sacrifice to those who wore the uniform and were willing to bet their lives on behalf of this nation,” said Vietnam veteran and American Legion Chaplain, Bill Cook.“I believe that a Southern California State Veterans Cemetery would be a valuable benefit of the families of those soldiers who spent part or all of their lives defending our freedoms,” said Robert Brower, a 27-year resident of Irvine, California and a decorated combat veteran who served in Vietnam during 1969.Veteran community stakeholders were present at the hearing to testify on behalf of this piece of legislation including Vietnam veteran and American Legion Chaplain Bill Cook, Vietnam veteran Robert Brower and California Department of Veteran Affairs Assistant Deputy Secretary on Veterans Memorials and Cemeteries, Steve Jorgensen.For questions or more information on how to support AB 1453, please call 714-526-7272 or send an email through www.asmdc.org/Quirk-Silva<http://www.asmdc.org/Quirk-Silva>.Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva represents the 65th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, Hawaiian Gardens, LaPalma, Stanton, and West Anaheim.

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