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Rep. David Day files legislation to help ensure all veterans receive proper burial
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Rep. David Day, R-Dixon, filed legislation this week that would help ensure a proper and respectful burial for the unclaimed remains of thousands of veterans.

Rep. Day filed the legislation in response to the discovery of thousands of veterans' cremated remains inside small canisters and boxes in funeral homes throughout Missouri and the country. The Missing in America Project was formed to work with government organizations to identify the cremated remains and ensure a proper burial for the deceased veterans. However, the group has run into hesitation from some funeral homes to release information.

Rep. Day's legislation would protect funeral homes that release the unclaimed remains of veterans to veterans' organizations. House Bill 111 would allow the unclaimed remains of a veteran to be collected by a veterans' service organization for the purpose of internment in a veterans' cemetery. The bill would allow the release of remains under the condition that they had been in possession of the funeral home for at least one year and the funeral establishment had given written notice to the next-of-kin.

Linda Smith of Dixon, MO serves as the National Operations Coordinator for the Missing in America Project. "All American veterans must be honored, no matter the circumstances at the time of their death. This is, and always will be the goal of the Missing in America Project" said Smith.

"Far too many of our finest Americans have been denied the honor of a proper burial and we should do everything we can to facilitate the process and pay our due respect to the men and women who have served our nation," said Rep. Day. "I appreciate Mrs. Smith bringing this problem to my attention and with this legislation I hope we can give our funeral homes and service organizations the legal authority they need to make certain our deceased veterans are laid to rest in a veterans' cemetery."

Session for the 95th General Assembly will begin at noon on January 7th, 2009. More information about the program can be found at www.StateRepDay.com and then click on the Missing in America Project link.

Link to Rep. Day's website

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