CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — More than six months after President Barack Obama signed into a law a measure from New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte to restore a cemetery for U.S. veterans in the Philippines, Ayotte wants to know why the work hasn’t started yet.
The 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. It is the final resting place for more than 8,300 American service members and their families.
Ayotte has written to Secretary of State John Kerry. She’s expressed concerns that the State Department hasn’t finalized an agreement with the Filipino government to allow the restoration work. She asks that the agreement be completed.
‘‘Clark Veterans Cemetery is sacred ground, and we have a solemn duty as a nation to ensure that the brave Americans buried there have the dignified and well-maintained final resting place that they deserve,’’ Ayotte wrote. ‘‘I respectfully request that the State Department complete the agreement with the Philippines regarding Clark Veterans Cemetery at the earliest opportunity so the American Battle Monuments Commission can begin their essential work without delay.’’