Monday, June 18, 2018

MEMO TO SENATOR BILL NELSON: Three Ways to Fix the Public Access Problem at Barrancas National Cemetery

As a follow-up to the last post on public access problems at Barrancas National Cemetery, I sent the following letter to Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL):

June 16th, 2018

The Honorable Bill Nelson
US Senate
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Nelson:

RE: National Defense Authorization Act amendment #2489 (To require a plan from the Navy to allow increased public access to the National Naval Aviation Museum and Barrancas National Cemetery at Naval Air Station Pensacola). 

Thank you for this much-needed amendment. I am very grateful for your action in this regard and am sure American veteran’s families appreciate your support.

However, a veteran Naval Flight Officer friend (who is also a Washington lawyer) told me the there is a very good chance Navy brass could ignore your NDAA amendment #2489 and do nothing, unless there is continuing attention and pressure over time. He believes any "no can-do" response needs to be pre-empted, since there is no deadline or penalty clause in the amendment.

So, at his suggestion I propose three simple and inexpensive solutions to counter possible excuses for inaction or delay. Here they are:

1. Additional checkpoints to separate Barrancas visitors from the rest of the base…there is already one behind the Naval Aviation Museum, so this has been done before;

2. Shuttle bus to remote parking lot, would prevent car bombs and unaccompanied vehicular access…this is already used at Arlington Cemetery;

3. Acceptance of US passport or TSA Global Entry at gate in addition to driver’s license…either of these could make visitor identification certain.

I hope you can use these points to turn your excellent legislation into lasting results. Please feel free to have your staff contact me if there are any questions or concerns in this regard.

Again, thank you for your commitment to facilitate public access to Barrancas National Cemetery!

Sincerely yours,

Laurence Jarvik