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Ayotte says burials resumed at veterans cemetery

December 18, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Burials have resumed at a cemetery in the Philippines that holds more than 8,300 American veterans, according to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Clark Veterans Cemetery was neglected following a volcanic eruption in 1991 and abandonment of a U.S. Air Force base. The cemetery was left covered in ash and overgrown by weeds. Since 1994, volunteers in the Philippines have attempted to maintain the cemetery and last year, the United States and the Philippines signed an agreement to restore it.

Ayotte, a Republican who serves on the Armed Services committee, learned that burials had been suspended by the Phillippines’ Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which converts former U.S. military bases into alternative productive civilian use. She wrote to the Philippine government asking that burials continue.

She announced Thursday that the State Department and Philippine government confirmed that burials will resume.

“The United States and the Philippines enjoy a close and important relationship, and I am deeply thankful that the government there responded so quickly to my concerns,” Ayotte said. “The burial suspension created unnecessary hardships for families of veterans grieving the loss of their loved ones, and I am so pleased that burials have resumed.”

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