Money set aside for Veterans cemetery

Congressman Spencer Bachus announced last week that $18.5 million in federal dollars has been set aside to build a National Cemetery in Montevallo.

The allocation comes as part of President Bush&8217;s proposed 2008 budget, and Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills) vows to work to keep the money there.

&8220;The construction of this cemetery is significant for Alabama&8217;s aging veteran population.

I am pleased to see President Bush and the Department of Veterans Affairs working together to help us move forward on this project,&8221; said Bachus. &8220;It is only fitting those in Alabama who have served our country with honor are afforded a final resting place near their loved ones.&8221;

The funding would allow construction to begin on the cemetery this year, which is scheduled to open in 2009 with some 40 to 50 burial plots.

In 2003, Congress asked the Department of Veterans affairs to build a new cemetery in the Birmingham area, which has more than 210,000 veterans.

&8220;The Shelby County site is particularly attractive because of the tie in with the American Village, historic Montevallo and the beautiful rolling landscape of the Shoal Creek Valley,&8221; said Congressman Bachus.

Bachus thanked local veterans and American Village leaders for their work in securing the cemetery.

&8220;Our Veterans&8217; groups and the entire Alabama delegation have worked hard to make this a reality,&8221; said he said.

&8220;Frank Wilkes with the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and Tom Walker with the American Village are due special thanks for their vision to bring this cemetery to the American Village.&8221;