A military funeral at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery this (Friday) afternoon will honor and lay to final rest the remains of 19 veterans and two of their spouses. The cremated remains had gone unclaimed by family members for years. The nationwide “Missing in America Project” arranged to have the remains properly buried after finding them at a Des Moines funeral home. Bill Lauchlan is the group’s Iowa coordinator. “We are going to honor these veterans in a way they should have been honored when they died, with a military funeral, military honors, give them the honor and dignity that we all were promised when we joined the service,” Lauchlan says.
Those being honored today served in four wars, going back to World War one, and include eight Iowans from Ames, West Des Moines, Marshalltown, Traer, Guthrie Center, and Council Bluffs. Lauchlan says the group launched the nationwide project in 2007. “We’re doing this in every state and we’re locating thousands of veterans who have been unclaimed, forgotten, sitting on shelves. Last year they buried six Civil War veterans in Missouri, so they’re there, and we just have to find them,” Lauchlan says.
Today’s ceremony is at two p-m. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter assisted with the interment of seven veterans in another ceremony back in 2009. For information on the Missing in America Project, visit their website at: www.miap.us.