Chicago (CBS) — Residents in a South Barrington neighborhood said they support a new national cemetery for military veterans, but a proposed 15-acre plot near them is too close to home.
“It would be three to seven rifles being shot three to five times per day literally just feet from our homes,” South Barrington resident Navraaz Basati said.
Basati said the area off Mundhank and Freeman Roads is already busy with more development in the area planned.
“The noise, the amount of thoroughfare and then you’re going to be trying to hold funerals on this parcel,” Basati said. “It does not make sense.”
But, this is where the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing a new cemetery. An artist rendering shows the stone walls that would hold up to 50,000 cremated remains.
The first public hearing on the plan earlier this month quickly turned emotional.
“It’s very hard to live through what we’ve lived through and serve a nation that today does not welcome or respect soldiers,” one attendee said.
But, Joe Marsiglia, a veteran and South Barrington resident, said he doesn’t think it’s fair.
“I went in the military to serve this country, to serve and protect,” Marsiglia said. “I would like to protect my home too.”
One veteran and funeral director said for veterans’ families in Northern Illinois, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood is the closest option. Rock Island National Cemetery is even farther, and Fort Sheridan Cemetery has very specific criteria about which veterans can be buried there.
Families are frequently forced to take a pass, denying a veteran what he has earned.
While the National Cemetery Administration said it’s conducted a comprehensive years-long search, the South Barrington mayor said the village was left out of that process.
Time is running out to weigh in. Public comment ends on Monday.