For years, Orange County veterans and their families have been waiting for the Irvine City Council to do the right thing and move forward with construction of the long-promised Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery on the 125-acre “ARDA” site at the Great Park.

During every election season, candidates for City Council talk about how much they support our local veterans. Yet here we are, seven long years after the Council agreed to donate City-owned land for a beautiful State-built and State-operated Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the ARDA site, and construction still has not begun.

Last year, citizens took matters into their own hands by successfully gathering 19,790 signatures from Irvine residents, which forced the previous City Council to rezone the ARDA site exclusively for a State-built Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery.

The State has already set aside $24 million in first-year funding for construction of the Veterans Cemetery.  Our Orange County legislators in Sacramento have agreed to move forward with additional funding to acquire the ARDA site and expedite construction.

However, further progress in Sacramento is dependent on Irvine’s new Mayor and City Council voting for an official Resolution declaring their commitment to transfer the 125-acre ARDA site to the State so that construction of the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery can begin.

The people of Irvine have spent the past seven years showing their strong support for the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the ARDA site.  Hundreds of residents have written letters to the Council, taken the time to personally address the Council at meetings, and submitted video testimonials.  Thousands of Irvine voters have signed petitions and voted in support of the ARDA site. 

And the State is ready to move forward.

The only thing left for the Mayor and City Council to do is: Just Say YES!

Franklin J. Lunding