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More than 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln said, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.” Sadly, there are U.S. veterans who have not been honored and given a proper military burial. Their cremated remains sit abandoned and forgotten on the shelves of funeral homes, hospitals, prisons, and crematories.
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and its partners are taking action to provide these forgotten heroes with the dignity, respect, and honor they deserve. On Veterans Day 2010, ten of these forgotten heroes were honored by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services; the Virginia National Guard; the Marine Corps League, Chesapeake Detachment; Sturtevant Funeral Home—Portsmouth Chapel; the Virginia Patriot Guard Riders; the Red Knights Motorcycle Club; the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club; and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. The veterans were interred with full military honors at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia. Close to 400 people were on hand for the ceremony.
DVS encourages funeral homes, crematories, and other organizations to provide us with the names of their unclaimed cremated remains. The agency will research the names to identify if they are veterans and are eligible for interment in one of Virginia’s state-operated veterans cemeteries. DVS and its partners will provide a service with appropriate military honors and inter the veteran’s cremated remains.
Funeral homes and other facilities who wish to participate in this program should contact Dan Kemano at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, (757) 255-7217.
Click to visit the Forgotten Heroes Memorial and leave a tribute.