WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs is awarding a grant of more than $2.7 million for improvements to the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery in Kailua-Kona.
"I am pleased that the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery continues to receive federal grant money for improvements to its facilities and burial services. Veterans who have served us honorably deserve an honorable burial, and a resting place that memorializes their service," said Senator Akaka, Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Senator Inouye, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and a World War II combat veteran, added: "I am pleased to have helped secure this grant. Our men and women in uniform serve with courage and honor. Many do not come home, and many come home injured. All of our veterans deserve a final resting place that properly respects their service and where they can be long remembered."
The West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery is owned and operated by the State of Hawaii, along with State cemeteries in Hilo and on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. At a Hawaii field hearing chaired by Akaka last year, VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs William Tuerk testified that Hawaii led the nation in development and operation of state veteran cemeteries, and was the ninth busiest in providing state burial services to veterans and their families.
VA's $2,755,694 grant will fund 100 percent of the cost for the following improvements: full casket and in-ground cermain gravesites, columbaria, a storage facility and a fenced service yard, a road, landscaping, a memorial walk, an assembly area, a committal shelter, and supporting infrastructure. In addition, the grant will fund development of 3 acres.