Thanks to years of hard work and dedication of Korean War Veteran Paul Marsh, Marana is home to the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Thousands of veterans have been laid to rest in the cemetery since March of 2016.

Friends, family and members of the community gathered to surprise Marsh and thank him for making the cemetery a reality.

I was amazed, absolutely amazed, Marsh said. This was supposed to be a small group and I took a look around the place and there are 300 people there. Thats no small group.

Prior to the completion of the cemetery in Marana, the nearest veterans cemeteries to the Tucson area were in Sierra Vista and Phoenix.

Margo Susco is a friend of Marsh and his family and is also the commander of the Pima Chapter of Korean War Veterans. She can recall when Marsh first got the idea for the cemetery. He was officiating and said, Wait a minute. We dont have a veterans cemetery here.

Marsh then worked to find land for it.

The Kai Family Foundation donated 42 acres to build the cemetery on. Necessary government funding was then secured from the Federal Veterans Administration.

The cemetery is located at 15950 North Luckett Road in Marana.

Because of Pauls tenacity and his vision we will have the cemetery for years to come, Susco said. So he will forever give back his legacy to other veterans and their families.