Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that AMVETS (American Veterans) has endorsed his bipartisan bill to repair the Mare Island Cemetery. AMVETS has more than 250,000 members across our nation and has served veterans and their families for more than 70 years.
“Ensuring the sanctity of the final resting place of our veterans is integral to respecting their service. I introduced this legislation to ensure the more than 800 veterans buried at the Mare Island Cemetery are properly honored and I’m humbled to have the support of AMVETS as we continue our fight to restore and maintain this landmark,” said Thompson. “We must ensure the cemetery is preserved for generations to come so we can properly honor the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans.”
“AMVETS applauds Rep. Thompson for introducing his bill to honor and preserve the memory and legacy of the veterans interred at the Mare Island Naval Cemetery, including three Medal of Honor recipients," said AMVETS National Commander Marion Polk. "That the federal government provided no funding for the upkeep of these heroes' final resting place when it closed the base in '96 has been nothing short of a national disgrace ever since. AMVETS strongly believes Congress must act swiftly to enact this bill and transfer responsibility for the cemetery's upkeep to the department of Veterans Affairs, where it belongs.”
H.R. 5588 directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to seek out an agreement with the City of Vallejo, under which the city would transfer control of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery to the VA. The cemetery would specifically be placed under the purview of the National Cemetery Administration. The VA would pay no fee to acquire the land, but would assume the obligation of maintaining the cemetery in the future. Click here for the full text of the bill. This legislation is co-sponsored by 68 Democrat and Republican members and is also endorsed by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the U.S. Navy League, and thousands of veterans across the country.