OC veterans hope $20 million boost will lead to a long-awaited military cemetery

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A military cemetery might be built in Orange County, pending a Board of Supervisors vote on funding. Photo by Pixabay.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote this Tuesday on whether $20 million from the county’s general fund will go toward building a veterans cemetery in Anaheim Hills. Local military groups have been pushing for a veterans cemetery in OC for years, and the major sticking point has been its location.

“Orange County, for all of its conservative bluster and love of the military, we do not have a cemetery for veterans,” says LA Times columnist Gustavo Arellano. “We never have because real estate is just too expensive here, and we'd rather turn it into housing.”

Housing developers say a nearby cemetery will depress housing values too.

The new proposed site is on Gypsum Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills, far away from housing. The county had already reserved the space around this area for a public cemetery, and it has more support than previously proposed sites in Irvine. 

“Let's put it this way — almost everyone has not not liked it,” says Arellano, who thinks the financial contribution will be a huge step toward deciding on the site and getting the cemetery built. “It'll be great to not talk about this issue again until they finally dedicate these hallowed grounds.”

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