Congressman Guinta (NH-01) introduced HR 4168, The Caring for the Fallen Act and Senator Ayotte, (R-NH) introduced S2320, Remembering America’s Forgotten Veterans Cemetery Act. Your help in having Congress pass these bills is needed. Please contact your Representative www.house.gov/ and Senators www.senate.gov/  asking them to co-sponsor these bills and vote for them.

The century old military post cemetery at the former Clark Air Force Base, Philippines was abandoned after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, with the Air Force’s hasty closure and exodus in 1991. There are 8,300 confirmed veterans and their dependents who served in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1900 to the present buried there. The veterans are from the Civil War through the Iraq War. Now forgotten by the government they served.

Clark Veterans Cemetery is the “Cemetery America Forgot.” It is the “Arlington of Asia” as both have similar profiles. Clark is much smaller - abandoned and forgotten. Arlington is properly maintained.

There is a group of concerned citizens and veterans working together with some members in Congress to correct an egregious error committed by the U.S. Government - - the abandonment of Clark Veterans Cemetery. The local VFW Post 2485 in the Clark area stepped forward in 1994 to restore the damaged and forgotten cemetery as best they could and continue to maintain it through donations and volunteerism. A not for profit group, the Clark Veterans Cemetery Restoration Association (CVCRA) was formed two years ago to lobby the U.S. Government. Its web site www.cvcra.org is full of amplifying information. The initiative has the support of the VFW, the American Legion and the 34 affiliate military and veteran associations that comprise The Military Coalition.

There is a touching human interest story that needs to be told, especially with Memorial Day just around the corner. While the U.S. Government seems unconcerned, a young 4th grade student from Avon, Indiana has chosen to help tackle the problem. The 4th grader learned of the “the Cemetery that America Forgot” from an AP article that ran on July 4, 2011. He created a PowerPoint presentation and wrote his elected officials with the full support of his parents and school. He created a petition and encouraged others at the school to also write their elected officials. His goal was to achieve 120 signatures, all school children and teachers from kindergarten to 4th grade. The school supported the project by allowing him to make public address system announcements. But he didn’t stop there.  At a Veterans Parade in Brownsburg, Indiana, he went out and mingled with the veterans and collected another 105 signatures, including a WWII veteran who survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor and three of the local VFW Post Commanders. This is an amazing story of a young student, raised by concerned parents to love his country and respect those who have “served with honor,” the motto of the cemetery.  

 

For more information contact: Dennis Wright, Chairman, CVCRA at dwright@peregrinedc.com; 703-362-3212 or Dan McKinnon, Vice Chairman CVCRA at themckinnons@aol.com (703) 941-8848. Website: www.cvcra.org

 

Please contact your Representative www.house.gov/  to co-sponsor HB4168 and your Senators www.senate.gov/  to co-sponsor S2320.

 

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