ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After the Office of the Medical Investigator told BernalilloCounty officials about a build-up of unclaimed cremated remains,the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services is takingaction.
The Forgotten Heroes Burial Program was recently started andwill hold its first ceremony June 3. The funeral will honor 14veterans from Bernalillo County whose cremated remains were neverclaimed by family or friends.
A 9-month-old Albuquerque company is custom making all 14 urnsfor the ceremony.
“They made a contribution so that I can be free and youcan be free and everybody owes them respect forthat,” Jeannie Johnson, manager of Urns by Heavenly Design, said. “Basically these urns are to set apart dignity,caring and quality.”
The company started out as a cabinet making company, but theslow economy forced workers into a new direction. The company saysit wasn’t able to pass up the opportunity to helpveterans.
“They’re veterans that were in nursing homes; theymay not have had any family to claim them when they passedaway,” Johnson said. “We wanted to be a part of theprogram that gave them an eternal resting place.”
The urns are being customized for each veteran with their name,service, rank, and other information about their duty.
They’ll be unveiled at the ceremony on June 3 at the SantaFe National cemetery.
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