By Larry Jasper
Thanks to the Missing in America program, a special internment ceremony on September 26 brought 12 veterans and five spouses of veterans to their final resting place at Sarasota National Cemetery in Florida. The remains of these individuals were unclaimed for as long as 14 years before this ceremony.
More than 400 people attended the ceremony, which included a motorcade of veterans and county police, a flag detail, and an honor guard representing all U.S. military branches.
I was honored to carry the cremains of Pfc. Charles William Livingston, a World War II veteran who passed away in 2011 at the age of 85.
Other members and patrons who represented the JWV Department of Florida at the event included Georgi Jasper, Boris Stern, and Dr. Bill Luria.
The Missing in America program was founded in 2006 to locate, identify, and inter the unclaimed remains of veterans through joint efforts between private, state, and federal groups. Missing in America has identified the cremains of approximately 4,500 veterans out of the 20,000 cremains found so far. In many cases, the cremains belonged to veterans who were homeless or had no next of kin. Their ashes were put in a box and left on a shelf.
The Missing in America Project hopes to identify every forgotten veteran and ensure they are interred with the honor and dignity they deserve.
Volume 73. Number 4. 2019