The family of Bob Hope have turned down a proposal to have the late comedian buried in a spot reserved for America's military veterans, because they want him closer to their California home.

Yesterday (29JUL03), SENATOR BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL introduced a bill which would have allowed British-born Hope to be buried in Virginia's ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, a privilege usually reserved for US military veterans.

Hope's longtime publicist WARD GRANT says, "The Hope family is tremendously honoured.

"I told the senator that indeed Bob Hope is worthy of being buried in Arlington, because we feel he is an American hero to the GI. But (Hope's widow) DOLORES and the family want him close by, here in California."

Hope, who died aged 100 from pneumonia on Sunday (27JUL03), entertained countless troops throughout his long career.

30/07/2003 21:12