Veter­ans Ceme­tery Up For Ma­jor Up­grades

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Windward Oahu Islander -

The Hawaii State Veter­ans Ceme­tery in Ka­neohe soon will have an ad­di­tional $1 mil­lion in fed­eral funds to ex­pand and im­prove its con­di­tions and ser­vices, the Hawaii Con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion an­nounced re­cently.

The money comes through a U.S. De­part­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs (DVA)ad­min­is­tered grant, which will pay for the con­struc­tion of a fam­ily room in the ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, a new re­stroom, new stor­age ar­eas at the com­mit­tal shel­ter and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture work.

As a mem­ber of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Veter­ans Af­fairs, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said the legacy of “a dig­ni­fied fi­nal rest­ing place” is a crit­i­cal part of the na­tion’s duty to honor the 80,000 veter­ans and their fam­i­lies served by the state-run ceme­tery, which opened in 1991 and has ex­pe­ri­enced some main­te­nance prob­lems over the years.

New U.S Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gab­bard echoed Hirono’s com­ments, with Schatz thank­ing DVA Sec­re­tary Eric Shin­seki for his work. Gab­bard, who also serves as a mil­i­tary po­lice cap­tain in the Hawaii Army Na­tional Guard, praised the grant as a sig­nif­i­cant ges­ture to honor veter­ans’ con­tri­bu­tions, ser­vice and sac­ri­fice.

In 1986, City Coun­cil­man and busi­ness­man John Henry Felix formed a coali­tion with state and fed­eral law­mak­ers to es­tab­lish the ceme­tery; he also do­nated more than 35 acres of land next to sta­te­owned prop­erty for the project.

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