Skip to main content

Quirk-Silva and Umberg Announce Public Unveiling of Gypsum Canyon Veterans Cemetery Feasibility Study

For immediate release:
Press Release Header for Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk Silva

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk- Silva (D – Fullerton) and Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D – Santa Ana) announced the official release of the feasibility study for the Gypsum Canyon Veterans Cemetery project. Commissioned by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), the study, available here, represents a crucial step forward in realizing the promise of providing Orange County Veterans and their families with a permanent and dignified resting place.

“In releasing the feasibility study for public analysis, the people of Orange County are able to see the progress we have made in securing a final resting place for the brave men and women who answered the call to serve our nation” said Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva. “I would like to thank Senator Umberg, the County Board of Supervisors, CalVet Secretary Lindsey Sin, and all of the residents of Orange County for their support in creating this sacred space for our veterans.”

“Assemblymember Quirk-Silva has been a passionate champion on this issue,” said Senator Umberg (US Army Colonel, retired). “It’s encouraging to see this important project finally moving forward for our fellow veterans and their families.”

Orange County, the largest county in the state without a veteran’s cemetery, has unanimous support from the County and all thirty-four cities for the Gypsum County site. Veterans organizations such as the Veterans Alliance of Orange County, American Legion- Department of California, AMVETS, Gold Star Mothers Inc., and Vietnam Veterans of America have all also expressed their strong support for the Gypsum Canyon project.

The release of the study publically allows the residents of Orange County to look over the information for the 100-acre Gypsum Canyon site, including technical information about Phase 1 of the project. This first step is needed to allow for the development of the designing, planning, and drawing steps of Phase 1. Included in the study is the total estimated cost for Phase 1 at around $123 million. To ensure funding for the project, ongoing collaboration is underway across various government levels, including the city, county, state, and federal entities. The project's financial foundation is bolstered by pledges of $20 million from the county, approximately $25 million from the state, and existing Orange County Cemetery District funds. Additionally, the state plans to apply to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery Grant Program later this year, with an expected grant announcement in October 2024.

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the Orange County communities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, and La Palma, as well as the Los Angeles County communities of Artesia, Cerritos, and Hawaiian Gardens.

Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, and Santa Ana in Orange County as well as South and East Whittier in Los Angeles County. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former federal prosecutor. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.