This honorable, statewide effort to inter the cremains of orphaned and abandoned veterans is an expression of love and respect for those who served this great country in times of peace and war. The New Jersey’s Mission of Honor for Cremains of American Veterans is an organization dedicated to locating, identifying and interring those veterans whose ashes were never claimed and for decades lay in boxes in more than 2,000 funeral homes scattered throughout the state of New Jersey.
The task facing the Mission of Honor is enormous and it requires the combined efforts of many veterans’ organizations throughout the state. Participants include: local funeral homes, crematoriums, hospitals, senior homes, veteran homes and prisons. In addition, there are laws and procedures that must be followed for the proper interment of the unclaimed remains of veterans.
An ongoing project and a labor of love requiring demanding leg work, many man hours will be expended in order to do the job properly and ensure that every forgotten veteran in New Jersey gets a dignified resting place.
So far, this debt of redemption has actually reunited more families with their missing loved ones than it has identified forgotten cremains. About 80 cremains have been given over to families who had no way of knowing that their relative’s remains were in an urn gathering dust on a shelf in a funeral home. There have been, however, some 50 cremains that were given full military burials at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, New Jersey.
For the forgotten, may they never be, and for the remembered, may they rest forever in peace.