• Yep, the Right Thing to Do: Unclaimed Veterans’ Remains to Be Honored

    If there’s a more apt way to observe Veteran’s Day, I’m open to suggestions …

    Donald Campbell at tribuneledgernews.com lets us know that the unclaimed remains of seven World War II veterans will be memorialized at a special service, Nov. 12, and then laid to rest at Georgia National Cemetery near Canton, GA.

    Volunteers with the local Missing in America Project will hold a small service at noon at the Roswell Funeral Home, located at 950 Mansell Road in Roswell, according to John Newport, a retired Marine who volunteers with Missing in America Project.

    Following the short service, attendees will join in a procession from the funeral home to Georgia National Cemetery, where the cremains of all seven veterans will be placed in one of the three columbariums at the cemetery. While at the cemetery, an additional service will be held, where all honors and recognition the veterans earned will be given.

    “No veteran should be buried without honors,” Newport said. “That’s our mission. … It means so much to me to be part of this. This is a passion for me, making sure these veterans receive their final honors.”

    This fine national organization has devoted its efforts to ensuring these men who served are not forgotten; that their unclaimed cremains are interred with the recognition they earned for their military service. In this specific instance, as part of the national organization, the North Georgia Missing in America Project works alongside funeral homes and other facilities throughout the area toward this ultimate goal.

    Newport relays representatives from the American Legion, Marine Corps League, Patriot Guard Riders and Veterans of Foreign Wars will be present during the commemoration. Other organizations — the Daughters of the American Revolution, for example — have been contacted to take part as well. Of course, members of the public are encouraged to join and pay their final respects to these seven veterans who played their part so many decades past in insuring America’s survival, safety and freedom.

    The seven WWII veterans to have their ashes placed in a columbarium at Georgia National Cemetery during the service will be: Sgt. William H. Wallengren, PFC (Private, First Class); Robert L. Green, TEC 5 (Technician, Fifth Grade); John Embert, TSGT (Technical Sergeant); John F. Campbell, Jr.; Capt. Frank S. Teasley and Sgt. Robert E. Forrest, Sr., all of whom served in the United States Army or Army Air Force during the war, as well as SPX1C (Specialist, First Class) James Sheridan of the United States Navy.

    Newport said the reality of unclaimed veterans is an insistent issue nationwide. The Missing in America Project not only wants to provide veterans the final respects they deserve, but also raise awareness about this pressing need.

    During the process, Newport said when the project locates cremains, the first task is to identify whose remains they are and whether or not they are a veteran. Once the remains have been confirmed to have been that of a veteran, the project then sends out letters to any potential next-of-kin. Should no next-of-kin be found for the veteran, the project then schedules a service for the veteran’s remains to be given a proper memorial and a permanent resting place.

    Heartbreakingly, in some occasions these remains may go unclaimed for years — for instance, the very cremains of one of those who will be remembered at the November 12 service: They’d gone unclaimed for more than 20 years, according to Newport.

    Details of this memorial can be found here.

    Every human being has value — because, as the Scriptures indicate, every person is created in the “image of God”. Nobody, therefore, should waste his life; nobody, therefore, should be disregarded of forgotten, neither in life or in death. That would doubly apply, obviously, to those who’ve sacrificed a portion of his/her time among his fellow man in service to his country and her fellow citizens.

    Good for the Missing in America Project for acknowledging that unquenchable verity.

    Thank God for our American veterans. We honor them in our hearts today.

    H/T: Donald Campbell/tribuneledgernews.com 

    Image: By Thomson200 – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54881360

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