By: Congresswoman Mimi Walters
This weekend, we honor the brave men and women who wore our nation’s uniform and took up arms in defense of our country and the liberties we hold dear. As the daughter of a U.S. Marine, and Orange County native, Veterans Day has always held a special meaning to my family and me. Words will never be enough to adequately thank our veterans for their service to our country and I hope our community can display our appreciation through deeds and actions.
Recently in Irvine, patriotic residents gathered for the flag raising and dedication ceremony of the grounds that will become Orange County’s first veterans cemetery. It was a truly great moment for Orange County. This long overdue project is one that I have been strongly supportive of for many years. I am pleased that the city of Irvine and local developers came to an agreement to bring the project to the site of the former El Toro Marine Base, a site with a rich military history.
Throughout America’s history, our country has relied on selfless patriots to take up arms to protect her people and our republic. For all veterans, their service came at a cost. Some lost their lives, and many more returned home with scars both visible and invisible.
Orange County is blessed to be the home to a great many of these American heroes. They are leaders in our community, entrepreneurs, mentors and living examples of serving causes greater than oneself. Thanking our veterans, and supporting them when they return from service, should be central to the American character.
The Southern California Veterans Cemetery will be a fitting tribute to the lives of our local veterans and a beautiful reminder of their sacrifices for us all. While this project is not yet complete, I pledge to do all that I can to secure proper federal support for the cemetery and I applaud all of the volunteers working to make this vision a reality. I am proud to stand alongside them.
Local veterans deserve a final resting place worthy of their sacrifice, and in an area that they call home. The flag raising and dedication ceremony was a great example of community action that serves as tribute, and it is my hope that it will inspire us to do more for those who sacrificed all so we can continue to live in safety and freedom.
Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Beach, represents the 45th Congressional District.