PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was an emotional ceremony Thursday at the National Cemetery of The Alleghenies.
Two unclaimed veterans from Allegheny County, one from the Navy, the other from the Army, were honored.
Both passed away in December, their cremains were collected from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office. Those cremains were buried, thanks to volunteers with the Missing in America Project.
“We go to funeral homes primarily because that’s where the cremains usually are that are unclaimed, we also check with local coroners, medical examiners, state hospitals, so it’s an ongoing project to locate these cremains and then provide them with a proper burial,” said coordinator John Fabry.
Volunteers research and track down information about the veterans. Then, there’s a service and burial. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it.
“It’s important to me just because they are veterans and I think its the least we can do for those who have served our country,” said Fabry.
Veterans from across the area took part in the service. They too, just want to make sure our local veterans are not forgotten.
“We have thousands of cremains in the country, just sitting on shelves and they have no family and its not right that they served our country, they need someone here to pay final respects, so we do that,” veteran Marlys Johnson said.
The Missing in America Project was launched nationwide in 2007. Since then, hundreds of Pennsylvania’s unclaimed veterans have had proper burials.