TRENTON, N.J. – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, to allow the unclaimed ashes of a veteran’s spouse or dependent to be united with the service member in a military cemetery, passed the state Assembly Thursday, with a 73 to 0 vote.
“Husbands and wives are usually buried together in private cemeteries and our fallen heroes should be given the same opportunity,” said Dancer (R-Ocean).
Dancer said veteran’s organizations reached out to him to fix the current law, which only allows them to collect unclaimed veterans’ ashes. Dancer’s bill will allow a veteran’s organization to obtain and bury the remains of a veteran’s spouse or dependent that have not been claimed within one year after cremation.
“Military families also pay a price for their spouses’ or parent’s service,” said Dancer. “Allowing them to be buried in a military cemetery, along with their loved one who served, is a way to show our appreciation for the entire family’s sacrifice and service.”
Under the bill (A2244), the list of cemeteries where remains may be interred would expand from one, the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, to any local, state or national veterans’ memorial military cemetery.