LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall on Thursday thanked residents from the 35th District who testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military and Veterans Affairs/State Police in support of creating a state military cemetery in Crawford County.
“I appreciate Crawford County Commissioner Carey Jansen and veteran Wayne Koppa for joining me today to support this important endeavor to honor the lives of Michiganders who have served our country as members of the armed forces,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “Michigan is the only state in the Midwest that does not have a single state-owned veterans cemetery. Although we are home to a few federal cemeteries located in the southern portion of the state, there are no burial grounds dedicated to veterans north of the I-69/96 corridor. The federal Department of Veterans Affairs directs that veterans cemeteries are located no farther than 150 miles from another facility — that leaves us with a lot of room to work with.”
VanderWall introduced legislation Thursday to create a veterans cemetery fund and authorize a land purchase to formally establish a state military cemetery in Crawford County, which will support the project’s inclusion in the state’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget.
“As our population ages and we see more and more veterans passing away, they should have access to a veterans cemetery that is closer to their families, which would also allow them to be formally honored for their service,” VanderWall said. “Having a veterans cemetery centrally located in Northern Michigan will help achieve this.”