Support Our Veterans

Honoring Southern California’s Military History

For 60 years, Irvine was home to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS).  After the El Toro MCAS was decommissioned, 125 acres of the former base (known as the “ARDA” site) was designated to become the Southern California Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery. (Right now, the closest Veterans Cemetery is in Riverside which is just too far for many family members to travel.)

The ARDA site was chosen because of its Control Tower and Aircraft Hangars — iconic symbols from the base to be preserved and repurposed as lasting tributes to the thousands of men and women who served at El Toro.

Years of planning, designs and approvals took place at the ARDA site.  In 2018, Irvine residents voted to support the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery on the ARDA site.

In 2019, Orange County state lawmakers passed a bill which leaves the fate of the Veterans Cemetery in the hands of the City of Irvine.

While Irvine voters have already made our voices heard, Irvine Mayor Christina Shea was caught on video revealing to a group of homeowners her plan to orchestrate a Council vote to select a completely different, never studied site as a “diversion tactic” to stop the State from building the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA site.

Shea further revealed she wants to give the ARDA site to a commercial developer as part of an unprecedented “99-year lease.”

That’s why our “Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery” committee has launched our citizens’ initiative petition campaign.  If we are successful, Irvine voters will have the power this year to designate and rezone the ARDA site as the citizens’ once-and-for-all choice for our County’s Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery so that construction can begin immediately.

Irvine’s Promise to Southern California Veterans


The Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery at the ARDA site would have become operational last Veterans Day (November 11, 2019). 

Instead, a giant developer (FivePoint) has colluded with the Irvine Mayor to cancel the project…again.  It was the second time in two years that FivePoint and Mayor Shea created a scheme to cancel construction of the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA site.


Join the Fight

Our initiative will designate the ARDA site in the Great Park for one use only — the Veterans Cemetery so that we can get back on track, with construction starting immediately!

However, we need to raise the funds (right now!) to cover the printing costs for thousands of petitions, along with pamphlets, signs, and other essential campaign materials.

We are a volunteer, veteran-led grassroots campaign that depends on small donations.

Please help support our efforts! 

What the Community is Saying

Stand Up for our veterans and support building the Veterans Cemetery at the ARDA Site in the Great Park as originality planned.

Jon Brownell

Having served my country in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I feel the cemetery should be located on the old El Toro Marine base. I currently reside in the Great Park and would be honored to have those who served our great country interred as my neighbors.

William C. Hyser

The veterans have been waiting for this — including my Vietnam veteran husband.

Linda Holmes

The Great Park location was approved long ago after a lengthy permitting and environmental impact process. I’m a Vietnam-era veteran whose remains will probably be interred at the Vet Cemetery when my time comes.  We need to back the ARDA site without any more delays.

Timothy Hoffman

I am a Vietnam era veteran and have served 40 years in the military.  Let the veterans who have served this great nation of ours and who have sustained our freedoms have a final resting place on the historical and hallowed grounds at MCAS El Toro.

Colonel A. S. Marraccino

The promised location of the Veterans Memorial Park & Cemetery must be kept.  The location is appropriate in honor of our veterans.  It blends very well with the other plans for the Great Park.

Rogelio Camero

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