GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — Twenty servicemen from New York City whose bodies have gone unclaimed for months or longer will receive full military honors at national veterans cemetery service.
The mass service will be held Saturday at Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it’s the largest of it kind in U.S. history.
It’s part of a national initiative in recent years to clear a massive backlog of unburied or unclaimed remains of both veterans and non-veterans.
The effort is backed by the Missing in America Project, which has been organizing funerals for forgotten veterans since 2006. Founder Fred Salanti of Redding, Calif,. says there may be millions of unclaimed bodies or cremated remains in morgues and funeral homes across the country, many of them veterans.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)