“Yes” on Measure B to Build a Veterans Cemetery and Send Opponents a Loud Rebuke for Misleading and Lying to Voters
Veterans, citizens and public officials in Irvine and throughout Orange County and at the state level in Sacramento have long been committed to building a much-needed and infinitely deserved veterans cemetery within the boundaries of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
There have been years of studies, debates, and exchanges in the marketplace of ideas. The community and its elected representatives have held numerous public hearings where hundreds made their feelings known, including veterans from every war since and including World War II. Having heard those voices and analyzed all the information, our democratically elected representatives voted.
The result was clear as the community came to a consensus: the best location for the veterans cemetery is at the undeveloped site near the 405 and 5 Freeways known as the Strawberry Fields.
That site is now the approved location of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery, and has the support of the majority of our military veterans.
“This is the America that I love. This is the America that we are. And we are great when we are together… as you can see in this bipartisan movement,” said Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) of the effort to establish the veterans cemetery at the strawberry fields site. Quirk-Silva spearheaded approval and funding of the veterans cemetery site.
So why, then, is there a veterans cemetery vote on June 5?
It’s a result of a false and misleading petition drive designed to overturn the dreams of veterans for a final resting place on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. It was just such fraudulent petition-gathering campaigns that triggered a warning from law enforcement officials. The Orange County District Attorney strongly urged residents to “thoroughly understand” what they are signing before lending their signature to any petition effort” and cautioned that petitions often mislead the public and hide important details.
Make no mistake: the paid petition gatherers out in Irvine last fall used emotionally charged, false and misleading arguments about “Saving the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park” to get Measure B on the ballot, and opponents to this measure continue to use false and misleading language in trying to trick a majority of voters into voting “no” on it.
The court’s ruling that “No on B” arguments are false and misleading further proves the group isn’t about debate, but about deceit.
“Be warned that the cemetery opponents will spare no trick or political charade in their efforts to deny veterans a place to rest,” says Nick Berardino, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and president of the Veterans Alliance of Orange County (VALOR), a non-profit led by some of Orange County’s most distinguished veterans.
“In addition to widespread support from veterans, Measure B has broad community backing from leaders in both the local Democratic and Republican parties,” Bernardino says. “Measure B brings a veteran’s cemetery to Irvine, away from homes, without costing Irvine taxpayers a dime and without adding any new traffic or development that hasn’t already been planned.”
On June 5, 2018, the voters of the city of Irvine will have the final say. Will we be deceived by the false and misleading politics of a bygone era in Irvine?
Instead, the city and its residents should move forward by voting “YES” on Measure B. Let’s keep our promises to the veterans and build the Veterans Cemetery at the city-selected and state-approved “Strawberry Field” site on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
Vote “YES” on Measure B.