SEASIDE, CALIF. (KION-TV)- Families of veterans came to see their loved ones who are resting at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Seaside. John De La Cruz is the son and brother of retired military veterans.
“Honoring them both for their military service but my father for his service, you know, he fought in the Korean War and then two tours of Vietnam,” De La Cruz said.
Others like Pauline Rosenthal came to visit their significant other.
“I had to come here today to honor my husband, Robert, who served so patriotically in the U.S. Army,” Rosenthal said. “He was a chaplain's assistant his last tour that he did. And he was just really proud to be in the Army.”
She says her husband enjoyed serving his country.
“And he was just really proud to be in the Army,” Rosenthal said.
Both De La Cruz and Rosenthal are buried at the California Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery.
Knowing it’s the only veteran's cemetery on the central coast, John acknowledged his father's request even though he passed away before it opened.
“When my father passed, he let us know that his last wish was to be buried here,” De La Cruz said. “So when he did pass away, we put him in a crypt at the Monterey Cemetery for 5 years, 2021, when we finally brought him over here.”
John is glad to see this cemetery built for those who served the country.
“Being a son of someone in the military, it's an honor,” De La Cruz said. “You know, I get to see this and there's other people here that get to honor their family. We don't have to drive up to San Luis Reservoir where they have the other federal cemetery.”
Pauline also agreed with John explaining how important this cemetery means to the county.
“It's a very proud place,” Rosenthal said. “It's great. And it's just the perfect place. The old former Fort Ord, you know, where this whole community, the whole Monterey Peninsula, the whole Monterey County has great memories of this place.”
As of March 2021, the cemetery has reviewed more than 4,200 eligibility applications and is the resting place for more than 1800 veterans and dependents.
According to the California Department of Veteran Affairs, the veterans cemetery is only the third cemetery operated by the department. It joins the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo and the Yountville Veterans Cemetery near Napa.