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Congressman's bill would transfer control of historic Mare Island Naval Cemetery to VA

Mare Island Naval Cemetery in Vallejo, California. This is the oldest Naval cemetery on the west coast.

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By THE NAPA VALLEY REGISTER Published: July 23, 2020

NAPA, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — California Rep. Mike Thompson announced that his legislation to transfer control of the Mare Island Naval Cemetery to the Department of Veterans Affairs was included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

This provision allows for the cemetery to be properly repaired and maintained as the final resting place for hundreds of our nation’s veterans, said Thompson.

This is the West Coast’s oldest military cemetery, in which nearly 1,000 are interred, including three Medal of Honor recipients and the daughter of Francis Scott Key. When Mare Island Naval Shipyard was shut down a quarter of a century ago, the cemetery was transferred to the city of Vallejo, which lacked the funding for upkeep.

“Proud that today my legislation to repair and maintain the Mare Island Naval Cemetery was included in a bill funding our nation’s defense,” Thompson said in a news release. “This will ensure that this national sanctuary can be preserved for generations to come,” said Thompson. “This sacred space must be upheld to the highest standards to honor our service members buried there and I will continue working to find every possible solution to get this done for our veterans.”

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