Bennet, Udall, Lamborn Herald Land Deal Clearing Way for New Veterans Cemetery They Championed for Southern Colorado

Land Deal the Result of Years of Work with Veterans, Local Communities; El Paso County-Based Cemetery Will Serve 95,000 Veterans

U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), strong advocates for Colorado's veterans and their families, welcomed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' announcement today that it has secured land in El Paso County to build a new national veterans cemetery for southern Colorado. The announcement follows years of work by the lawmakers to bring a new veterans cemetery to the region. The Pikes Peak area has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country and Pueblo, also known as the Home of Heroes, is home to four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Despite this, the nearest veteran cemeteries are located more than 70 miles away, greatly inconveniencing local families.

"As a region with a rich military history and a large and active veteran population, Southern Colorado is an ideal location for a final resting place for our nation's heroes," Bennet said. "We've been working closely with the VA, veterans and their families to establish a new national cemetery in Southern Colorado. It's exciting that we can move forward on this long overdue project."

"Southern Colorado's veterans have earned our respect through a lifetime of service to our country," Udall said. "Our veterans and their families deserve better than to travel hours from home just to pay tribute to their loved ones. That's why I have fought for years to create a final resting place that is worthy of their sacrifice. It's long past time this cemetery was built so we can honor the veterans across southern Colorado who gave so much for our freedom."

"As the son of a World War II veteran, I know the importance of dignity and respect for our nation's heroes," Lamborn said. "That is why the very first bill I introduced in Congress was to bring a Veterans Cemetery to El Paso County. It is tremendously exciting to see the hard work and help of so many members of our community pay off after all these years. I want to especially thank our Pikes Peak National Cemetery Committee for their years of dedication and advocacy on this project. The tens of thousands of veterans here in the Fifth Congressional District will now have a special place of remembrance close to heart and home."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it has acquired the land, water and mineral rights for a new veterans cemetery in southern Colorado. The new cemetery will be located on 374 acres of land in El Paso County at a site known as Rolling Hills.

Bennet, Udall, and Lamborn have worked for years to bring a national veterans cemetery to southern Colorado, including successfully authorizing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to acquire land to build the cemetery. The lawmakers have worked closely with southern Colorado veterans and community leaders to make sure the new cemetery would meet the needs of veterans and their families. For years, Bennet, Udall, and Lamborn have partnered with the Southern Colorado Veterans Cemetery Committee to build support for the cemetery and advocate for local veterans.