The Veterans Corner: What is So Objectionable About a Beautiful Park Honoring Veterans and Irvine’s Six-Decade Military History?

On February 8th, the Irvine City Council majority tried to put the proverbial “nail in the coffin” of Orange County veterans. Mayor Khan and Councilmembers Kuo, Kim and Carroll voted to deny a proposal to build a park on the ARDA site at the Great Park to honor veterans.

Instead, they want to turn the entire 125-acre ARDA site on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into a giant botanical garden that has nothing to do with veterans or our City’s six-decade military history.

They are bragging on social media that their huge botanical garden will include a tiny 5-acre veterans memorial “component,” as though veterans should be thankful.

My name is Ed McNew. I am an 89-year-old U.S. Army veteran. I personally gathered nearly 4,000 of the 19,790 signatures submitted for a citizens’ Initiative to get a Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery built on the ARDA site at the Great Park. I spent 6 to 7 hours every day for nearly five months straight, dedicated to that task.

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