After two years of delays and obstruction, it looks like the long-promised Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery may finally be moving forward, with renewed leadership from the State Legislature.

Last month, six members of the California State Legislature sent a letter to the Irvine City Council, urging the Council to keep Irvine’s 2014 promise to support the Southern California Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery at the 125-acre “ARDA” site at the Great Park.

As the legislators (3 Democrats, 3 Republicans) noted in their bipartisan letter, the Council had unanimously approved the ARDA site in 2014, calling it “the best possible site” for the Veterans Cemetery.

To read the March 22nd letter from the State Legislature, click here.

It isn’t just California legislators who want the Council to support the ARDA site.  Hundreds of residents have taken the Irvine Community Poll this past week.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents support building the Veterans Cemetery at the original ARDA site at the Great Park.  Only ten percent support the Council handing the 125-acre site over to developer FivePoint Communities for office/industrial/residential development.

Below are a few of the many comments ICNV has received from those taking the poll:

We have already waited far too long to build the promised and long-awaited Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery. The people of Irvine approved Measure B for this very reason. What is the hold up? Let’s roll!
— Peter Fredericks, Col USMC

It is past time to implement the original plan for the Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park ARDA site. This is a decision the residents of Irvine made via “No on B.”  It is time to act on the people’s vote! Transfer the site to the State of California.
— K. Yetter

The plans for the Veterans Cemetery have been drawn up, approved and paid for. The State is going to pay for the Cemetery. Irvine is donating the land. The rejection of Measure B spoke loud and clear that Irvine voters want the Veterans Cemetery at its originally designated, approved site. Let’s stop attempting to move the site of the Veterans Cemetery because a land developer wants to use that land for his own purposes. 
— Jane Olinger

Enough is enough….build the Veterans Cemetery where the community AND state want it! There is no better location than the Great Park! 
— David Bakewell

We don’t need to use prime land for dead people. All cemeteries are bad. Soon the entire world will be full of graves. Remember them in your mind and move on.
—Sharad Rao

Irvine voted for this land to house a Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery. So, why haven’t we been granted what we voted for? The residents’ voices have been silenced by big developers.
— Shelley Bivens

It is utterly unacceptable for the City Council to ignore the will of the citizens in Irvine. We won the election on where we wanted the Veterans Cemetery. Irvine needs to start building the Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery exactly where it was supposed to be, and stop catering to FivePoint. We have tons of offices, apartments, homes, schools, etc. 
— CJ Lindboe

I’m tired of the developers trying to change the will of the voters and politicians not listening.  Give the voters what they voted for: Build the Veterans Cemetery where it was promised and where the voters want it!
Teresa King

The veterans have been waiting for this — including my Vietnam veteran husband. Letting the developers have this land in the Great Park would be disgraceful and disrespectful.
Linda Holmes

This issue has been voted over and over by Irvine citizens:  Build it and build it now!  I just cannot understand why the Irvine City Council is still running against the people’s will.  It seems we are living in a different universe.
M Pan

Please, no graveyard in Great Park!  Keep graveyards away from residential areas. The other site across from the Great Park seems like a much better option.
Roger Karlsson

It’s appalling that we, the citizens of Irvine, defeated a proposition and made it clear that we want the Veterans Cemetery built as originally approved and yet, our elected officials can delay and use tactics to not honor our vote. This is disgusting!
Tony R

This is so frustrating!   I love the city I live in, but am so frustrated with the greedy people who want to keep developing. I am the wife of a Marine veteran and the mother of a current Marine.  Honor the military base and the people who have sacrificed with a resting place of honor on a previous military base. I am sure developers can find another place to ruin.
Julie Goodman

If you haven’t taken the poll yet, click here to take it now.

ICNV Staff

ICNV staff writers are local Irvine journalists who are personally familiar with the events and issues they write about.
ICNV Staff