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37 unclaimed veterans laid to rest

Posted at 8:48 PM, Oct 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-27 15:10:39-04

MARANA, Ariz. -- 37 unclaimed veterans received their final resting place, at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

It was a day of remembrance and reflection.

Over 100 people came together to witness a service, where heroes who fought for our country were recognized, and given a forever home.

During the ceremony, a bell was rung 37 times.

Each stroke represented one of the 37 unclaimed veterans who were escorted, with the highest honors, into the cemetery.

Among those in the service was Ed Torres, a former Veteran.

“Two were World War I veterans, two were World War II veterans that were sitting in shelves since the 60s,” Torres told KGUN9.

The missing man formation could also be seen up above, performed in honor of the fallen veterans.

“That is symbolic of service members that are still lost and cannot be recovered,” Torres added.

Torres is part of the Missing in America Project or MIAP, a nonprofit whose goal is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremains of American veterans.

“Otherwise they would just languish on the shelves. And they wouldn't be where people could come and honor them and honor their service,” said Torres.

For this reason, members of MIAP work daily to find unclaimed veterans, and put together a ceremony -- like today’s -- twice a year.

“We owe it to them to find them and put them in a final resting place where they can rest with honor,” Torres told KGUN9.

Veterans involved in MIAP are constantly on the lookout to make sure late-veterans have a forever home, are always remembered, and never forgotten.

Torres says MIAP is always looking for volunteers to help with their cause. For more information on how you can get involved, click here.