By Tomoya Shimura
Military veterans finally will have a resting place right here in Orange County, at the former El Toro Marine base.
That’s the message nearly 300 people, many of whom were veterans, received at the dedication ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27 of a 125-acre parcel near the I-5 and I-405 interchange that Irvine plans to donate to the state for a veterans cemetery.
“This is an acknowledgment of our service,” said Bill Cook, a Vietnam War veteran who heads the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation and has advocated for the cemetery since 1999.
He was among dozens donning yellow “Southern California Veterans Cemetery 2017” caps at the ceremony held in the middle of what is currently strawberry fields but at one time was the end of a runway of the El Toro base.
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Photo Credit: Michael Ares, Contributing Photographer