Sunnyside a possible site for new veterans cemetery in Eastern Washington

Sunnyside a possible site for new veterans cemetery in Eastern Washington

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - A day that will live in infamy: September 11.

We remember those who've were lost 17 years ago and the veterans who've given their lives to protect our freedoms.

“When I came back from Korea that flag meant so much to me. So much and still does today,” Korean War Veteran Robert Cook said.

To make sure future vets have somewhere to be buried, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is looking to add a veteran cemetery in eastern Washington so families can have their heroes nearby.

The VA said the ideal location would be in between Yakima and Walla Walla.

Sunnyside is one potential spots for this new cemetery and it makes sense when you look around and see all this land. The only problem is that a lot of its in high demand, which can make it more expensive to build.

“Some of this ground sells as low as $10,000 an acre and as high as $16,000 an acre for good farm ground,” Greg Schlieve with the American Legion Post 73 in Sunnyside said.

Schlieve said the cemetery would be around 50 acres.

Not only would it give families a proper burial for their vets, but he said it would bring more money for Sunnyside as a whole.

“Add to tourism and visitations. Maybe grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant, but it helps the image of the town,” Schlieve said.

An image that already shows its dedication to previous service men and woman.

The Jerry Taylor Memorial Veteran's Plaza is right down the street from downtown Sunnyside, with 15 granite slabs filled with names of local people who died serving in previous wars or 9/11.

Schlieve said it's only a third of the way completed, but would be the perfect complement to a vet’s cemetery when it's done.

“We're building what will be one of the largest veteran memorials in the United States,” he said.

The memorial and cemetery are still far from being done, but they can still end up near each other in the lower valley.

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