TRENTON, N.J. – The unclaimed ashes of a veteran’s spouse or dependent can now be united with the service member in a military cemetery under legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer and signed into law this week.
“Husbands and wives are usually buried together in private cemeteries and our fallen heroes should be given the same consideration,” said Dancer (R-Ocean).
Dancer said veterans’ organizations reached out to him to fix a law that only allowed them to collect unclaimed veterans’ ashes. Under the new law, veterans’ organization can 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 parents’ 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.”
The bill also allows these remains to be buried in other cemeteries in addition to the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown. It allows burial in any local, state or national veterans’ memorial military cemetery.
Dancer’s legislation (A2244) unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature. The law takes effect immediately.