Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, announced Wednesday that The American Legion has endorsed his bill to transfer control of the Mare Island Cemetery in Vallejo to the Department of Veterans Affairs so it can be maintained for future generations.
The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization with over two million members at 13,000 posts across the globe.
“The final resting place for more than 800 of our fallen heroes, the Mare Island Cemetery should stand as a sanctuary for our veterans,” Thompson said in a news release. “That is why I am working to ensure it can be restored and maintained for generations to come and why I am humbled to have the support of the American Legion for my bill to transfer control from the city of Vallejo to the VA.”
“Showing respect to the dead that served our country is one of the most important things we can do,” said Denis Rohan, national commander of The American Legion. “The Mare Island Naval Cemetery holds the graves of many veterans to include three Medal of Honor recipients.”
HR 5588 directs 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 would specifically be placed under the purview of the National Cemetery Administration.
The VA would pay no fee to acquire the land, but would assume the obligation of maintaining the cemetery in the future. This legislation is also endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the U.S. Navy League.