Laguna Beach declares support for Orange County veterans cemetery site

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 U.S. military service veterans march in a recent Patriots Day Parade.

The Laguna Beach City Council voted Tuesday to join 30 other Orange County cities that have supported the construction of an Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Anaheim Hills.

Nick Berardino, president of Veterans Alliance of Orange County, said his group realized a regional approach was needed after a nearly decade-long campaign failed to get approval from Irvine for the development of a veterans cemetery at former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.

“We have not received one single no vote among all the other cities,” Berardino said. “The County has endorsed it unanimously 5-0… Our 130,000 veterans, we’re not waiting any longer.”

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has earmarked $20 million to support the construction of the cemetery off of the 91 Freeway at Gypsum Canyon.

“I think they’re here just looking for some consensus to go back and tell Anaheim, ‘it’s not just you. There are other communities that feel the same way,’” Councilmember Peter Blake said. “I don’t think we do enough to support our veterans. This is just our way of saying it’s no skin off our back. We’re saying it’s OK to have this in Anaheim and if Anaheim wants it more power to them.

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