Unclaimed remains of 19 war veterans were interred with military honors at the South Florida National Cemetery here.
Urns with the ashes of 13 Army, two Marine Corps, two Navy and two Air Force veterans and six spouses were placed in niches after a moving ceremony. The men served in conflicts from World I through Vietnam.
“They were lost and now they’re found,” the cemetery’s Kevin Ridgeway said at Missing in America Project’s “You are Not Forgotten” early Saturday.
More than 29,000 veterans, spouses and dependent children are interred on the grounds in western Lake Worth, he said.
A procession of Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputies and Patriot Riders on motorcycles with flags flying escorted the hearse from Kraeer Funeral Home at Forest Lawn Center in Pompano.
“We’re here to honor them,” said Robert Anderson, a Marine and the group’s chaplain.
A huge American flag flew from a 77-foot ladder from Palm Beach County’s Fire Rescue Station 57 truck in West Boca.
Palm Beach County Fire Fighters Pipes and Drum Corps in red tartans marched to the ceremony site under a tent playing the Marine Hymn and Air Force song.
Gathered under a tent, Vietnam and Korean War veterans saluted and placed their hands over their hearts. ROTC and PBSO honor guards presented the colors.
Lynn College of Nursing students from Florida Atlantic University monitored the crowd and gave out bottles of cold water in the hot Florida sun.
“We’re here to support them,” said Sylvia Oliver, regent of Boca’s Estahakee chapter of the DAR, one of several Daughters of the American Revolution chapters there.
Each MIA’s name was read by a volunteer and a bell was sounded. Two volleys were fired.
Flanked by honor guards, a procession of volunteers holding an urn and a folded flag walked to the wall of niches for the final interment.
Ramon Marrone sung an original version of “They are Home.”
By Marci Shatzman