Pikes Peak National Cemetery will serve veteran families
Denver, CO - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on the name for the new national cemetery in Colorado Springs. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that "Pikes Peak National Cemetery" will be the name of the new national cemetery in Colorado Springs. It was based on the cemetery's location as well as suggestions from local veterans and community leaders.
"The name reflects the Pikes Peak region's reputation for making the area one of the best places in the country for veterans to live and work," Bennet said. "This announcement is another step toward completion of the cemetery that will serve an area with one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country and allow the families of local veterans to lay their loved ones to rest closer to home. The veteran and military community has been working for years toward a new national VA cemetery in southern Colorado and our office is happy to be part of those efforts."
Bennet has worked for 7 years to establish the 374-acre cemetery which will serve roughly 95,000 veterans. Currently the nearest cemetery for veterans and their families is more than 70 miles away.
Bennet worked with former Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Doug Lamborn to bring a national cemetery to southern Colorado. In 2009, he sponsored legislation with then Senator Udall to create the cemetery and in 2010 the President's budget request included language that reduced the population threshold used to determine where new national veterans cemeteries could be built from 170,000 to 80,000 veterans living within 75 miles of a potential site. This language, which followed a meeting Bennet held with then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, allowed the VA to build a cemetery in southern Colorado. In October 2013, following a rigorous review process that included public meetings and a public comment period, the VA announced it had agreed to purchase land for this preferred site in Colorado Springs.