Legislators call upon CALTRANS to make it Right for Veterans

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San Diego – On Friday, Senator Mark Wyland (R-38) and Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-74) were joined with many notable retired military at the gates of Miramar National Cemetery where they called upon CALTRANS to fulfill its pledge to install freeway signs off I-805 designating the appropriate exits for the Miramar National Cemetery.

Sen. Mark Wyland speaks, while Rocky Chavez (right) and Assemblyman Martin Garrick (second to right) are among those looking on.

Over the course of several months, requests by Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation for directional signs were denied by CALTRANS. Communications between the two organizations showed that CALTRANS appeared to rely on signage already in place for the Marine base at MCAS Miramar.  The Miramar National Cemetery, however, is located off the Nobel exit on northbound I-805; miles from the both gates at MCAS Miramar and inaccessible from the base.

“I was pleased to learn late yesterday afternoon that CALTRANS agreed to provide freeway signs so visitors can easily locate Miramar National Cemetery and pay tribute to the men and women who have faithfully served our nation,” said Assemblyman Martin Garrick.

The legislators displayed photos of strategically placed freeway signs of other national cemeteries throughout the state including LA National Cemetery, Sacramento Valley VA National Cemetery, Riverside National Cemetery, and Bakersfield National Cemetery and called upon CALTRANS to provide similar signage to honor our veterans.

“A Senator and Assemblyman shouldn’t have to hold a press conference to get a state agency to honor America’s greatest heroes. This impacts real people who are on their way to honor those who have served our country,” said Senator Mark Wyland.

This sentiment was echoed by Brig. General Robert “Bob” Cardenas, USAF Ret. Speaking on behalf of Fort Rosecrans and Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation he said, “Today, some 1,500 heroes are buried at Miramar National Cemetery by the time the cemetery is complete, 162,000 veterans will be buried here. It is important to the veterans of San Diego and to their families that CALTRANS honor its pledge to erect directional signage to the cemetery.”

According to legislators, CALTRANS has agreed to install the signs in six weeks. Rocky Chavez, former acting Secretary California Department of Veterans Affairs said, “Cemeteries are not just a place where heroes go to rest, cemeteries are a place where we as citizens go to celebrate our freedom.  It’s only appropriate that signs point people in the right direction.”

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