(Brooklyn, NY) - Earlier today, State Senator Kevin Parker’s bill (S1615B) passed the Senate’s Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. The bill, which will take effect November 11, 2015, ensures the remains of a cremated American veterans’ body are properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, thereby allowing for proper acknowledgment of those who have served to protect the life and liberty of our nation.
Millions of American service men and women have fought for the United States in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and numerous other conflicts. Those same service men and women have also carried out humanitarian relief projects on behalf of the United States in every comer of the world. Sadly, however, the remains of some of those heroes sit unclaimed and forgotten on the shelves in funeral homes, hospitals, prisons, crematories and other facilities. (See, e.g., "Abandoned cremains of veterans laid to rest," Teaneck Suburbanite, August 20, 2009.) It is fitting we provide a way for the remains of those lost heroes to receive the respectful and honorable interment they deserve.
In 2009, the states of New Jersey and Illinois enacted laws concerning the final disposition of the unclaimed remains of veterans' bodies after cremation. Before today, sadly, New York had not yet completed adopting a policy that would allow the brothers and sisters in service of our fallen heroes the ability to serve their former comrades one final time.
This legislation came about due to the many unclaimed cremated veterans’ remains that are sitting on the shelves of funeral homes, crematoriums and other facilities throughout the country. “Veterans who have defended our country deserve the dignity of a proper burial complete with proper military honors,” said Senator Parker.
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committees on Energy and Telecommunications and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.