Memorial Day Update

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Veterans’ graves would no longer go accidentally unmarked on Veterans Day or Memorial Day, if legislators pass a bill aimed at improving the communication surrounding the deaths of veterans. Currently, when a veteran dies, the funeral director files a notice with the Massachusetts Board of Health, which is supposed to notify the Veterans’ Graves Officer – the local official responsible for caring for veterans’ graves. But Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, the bill’s sponsor, said communication tends to break down and often the graves officer is never notified. “Some veterans’ gravesites are not receiving proper recognition and proper markings,” O’Connell said. The Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs on 11 APR held a public hearing on legislation (H.3983) that would require the funeral director to notify the town’s veterans’ agent, in addition to the Board of Health, before a veteran is buried. Several veterans testified in favor of the bill. Golden Rodent (Commander) Paul Waldron of the National Order of Trench Rats Dugout 622, said the lack of communication has resulted in veterans’ graves not being honored on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. “Those we speak for today can no longer speak for themselves,” Waldron said. “It’s up to us as veterans to speak for those people. We’re looking for them to be properly honored.” [Source: Cape Ann Beacon State House News Service article 11 Apr 2012 ++]

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