Remains of Veterans Honored at Special Middletown Ceremony

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The remains of four unclaimed veterans were honored posthumously at Middletown's State Veteran's ceremony.

The Connecticut State Department of Veterans Affairs and Connecticut Funeral Directors Association worked together to give these service members proper burials.

"When someone dies, they die two deaths. One when their last breath leaves their lungs and their heart ceases to beat and a second more permanent one when they are forgotten," Commissioner Thomas J Saadi with the CT Department of Veteran's Affairs, said.

"I felt bad that there were individuals in CT that didn't have anyone to say goodbye to them," Frank McCarthy, who served in the U.S. Army, said.

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"Both my parents are Navy veterans, I attended the University of Notre Dame on a 4 year ROTC scholarship and was commissioned as a second lieutenant," he continued.

McCarthy said service members are told when they sacrifice their lives to fight for their country, no man or woman will be left behind.

"Even when they come back and take off their uniform its nice to know that the government is gonna step forward and pick up the slack so that no ones left behind," McCarthy said.

Skip Petras is part of patriot guard riders, a volunteer organization nationwide that provides flag lines and escorts for deceased veterans and first responders upon request.

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"I'm feeling happy that they've reached their final resting place and that we were able to be a part of it," Petras said.

According to the Department of Connecticut's Veteran's Affairs, the first ceremony was held in 2009 when the state established new protocols to identify unclaimed, cremated remains of honorably discharged U.S. veterans in our funeral homes.

"This can happen for a variety of reasons. the veteran may have outlived their next of kin, or not have any close family members surviving them. its not very common but it happens," David Macdonald, president of the Funeral Directors Association, said.

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