TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee cleared a bill (A3883) 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.
“We should honor veterans who selflessly served our country by burying them with their loved ones in a respectful and dignified manner,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Husbands and wives are usually buried together in private cemeteries and our fallen heroes should be given the same opportunity.”
Dancer said veteran’s organizations reached out to him for legislation 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.
“Our veterans sacrifice so much,” continued Dancer. “What most people don’t realize is military families also pay a price for their spouses’ or parent’s service. Allowing them to be buried in a military cemetery, along with their loved one who served, is a way to show our appreciation for their service as well.”
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.