Grass Or Xeriscaping At Fort Bliss Cemetery – What Do You Think?
Veteran's Day is Tuesday, November 11th. It is a day we honor those who are serving our country, and who have served our country in the past, in the Armed Forces. This week, however, El Paso City Council was focusing on those who have fought and died for our country. They passed a resolution to get rid of the xeriscaping that was put in almost ten years ago, and bring back grass to the Fort Bliss National Cemetery. But in the desert, is grass really that important?
It would take 14 million dollars to reinstall grass in the cemetery, and then there would be the additional yearly cost of upkeep and watering. ABC-7 asked if El Paso Water Utilities would commit water from it's purple pipe system, but the answer was no. EPWU officials said there simply isn't enough reclaimed water from the purple pipe system to go around.
Congressman Beto O'Rourke has been fighting to regrass the Fort Bliss National Cemetery. He has asked for funds from the Veterans Affairs Cemetery Administration, but if they don't come through, he said he will ask for a specific appropriation for Fort Bliss. O'Rourke said the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost per year to maintain grass at Fort Bliss National Cemetery if the same as the cost of doing so at other national cemeteries across the country. He said he wants the cemetery grass to be restored because he doesn't want El Paso to be treated any differently than those cemeteries.
For the record, when Fort Bliss National Cemetery had grass, the post was responsible for the upkeep and watering. EPWU never provided water for the facility. O'Rourke says if that was the way it was done in the past, it can be done that way once again.
I believe that our veterans deserve the honor of resting in peace in a cemetery with grass landscaping. Ever since the xeriscaping was put in, each summer monsoon season has brought nothing but stories and photos of sunken graves and distraught families who have had to see their loved one's final resting place disturbed. I believe that our veterans deserve the honor of resting in peace in a cemetery with grass landscaping. What do you think?