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Category: Veterans Corner

Welcome to the Veterans Corner!

My name is Frank McGill. I am an Air Force veteran and Chair of the Veterans for the ARDA Site Cemetery organization, representing more than 2,000 Orange County veterans and their families.

If you have followed the saga of the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery over the years, you know that there have been endless efforts to move our promised Veterans Cemetery from the ARDA site — the site overwhelmingly preferred and approved by Irvine veterans and voters.

The latest proposed site is 20 miles outside of Irvine, near the Riverside County line.

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Veterans Corner: The Mayor & Council Should Respect the Will of the People!

My name is Ed Pope. I am a U.S. Army veteran and a 50-year Irvine resident who has been working to preserve and honor our City’s history with the old El Toro Marine Corps Air Station — which is now the Great Park.

Through two signature-gathering efforts and an election, the voters in Irvine have made it clear that they support a beautiful Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery on the former military base at the Great Park to honor the memory of the base and our City’s military history. But, the will of the people continues to be ignored.

I served in Berlin during the height of the Cold War and saw firsthand what silencing the people in East Berlin looked like. I learned how important it is for the voices of the people to be heard … and heeded.

When I came home, I spent 35 years teaching my students that your vote is your voice in America. And that, through the ballot, the will of the people always prevails. Except, it seems, here in Irvine.

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Veterans Corner: On Behalf of Our Brothers & Sisters in Arms

My name is Raymond Cordova and I am proud to have served our nation with the 82nd Airborne Division/504th Parachute Infantry Regiment as a communications technician attached to the 32nd Signal Battalion, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany.

I am deeply disturbed that four of Irvine’s Council members, beginning with Mayor Farrah Khan followed by Anthony Kuo, Mike Carroll and Tammy Kim, disrespect our veterans with their empty promises.

On a personal note, I never want to hear them say: “Thank you for your service.”

I reference their false promise to make certain the 125-acre ARDA site at the Great Park would be for the Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery.

How dare they now commit to a paltry 5 acres towards a “veterans memorial component” and 120 acres to grow flowers!

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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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