Sunday, 03 March 2024

Thompson celebrates start of transfer of the Mare Island Cemetery to the VA

On Thursday, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration will formally begin the process of transferring the Mare Island Naval Cemetery from the city of Vallejo.

This marks the start of important work to restore and maintain the cemetery. It follows specific authority under Thompson’s legislation passed last year as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, Conference Report.

“The Mare Island Cemetery is a vital piece of our nation’s history and is the final resting place for hundreds of brave and honorable service members. Though it’s sadly fallen into disrepair in recent years, I’m glad the VA is taking this critical first step toward the restoration and maintenance of this hallowed ground. This announcement follows guidance under legislation I authored that was signed into law at the start of the year and is great news as we work to return the space to its rightful honor for both the veterans buried there and those who want to visit for years to come,” Thompson said.

First introduced in 2018, Thompson’s legislation directed 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 will specifically be placed under the purview of the National Cemetery Administration.

The VA will pay no fee to acquire the land, but will assume the obligation of maintaining the cemetery in the future.

That bill became law on Jan. 1, 2021 and you can click here to read the text of the legislation.

Thompson, a Vietnam veteran, represents California’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

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