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Forgotten veterans laid to rest at South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jun 08, 2019

LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Volunteers gathered Saturday afternoon at the South Florida National Cemetery to honor American heroes they never met.

25 men and women were given a proper burial complete with full military honors after their remains have sat on shelves in a mortuary or storage facility for years, unclaimed.

“It really gets to me when I start seeing how far back these people go, I mean you have people from WWI, people born in the 1800s and early 1900s,” said Harry Malecki.

In 2006, the Missing in America Project was created. To date, the nonprofit has worked to identify more than 4,200 veterans' remains with the help of private, state and federal organizations.

The goal is to give anyone who served this country a final resting place with a proper burial ceremony.

“These veterans were people who were forgotten by families and by the nation,” said Malecki.

Each of the veterans interred Saturday served in either World War I, World War II, Korea or Vietnam.

One of the service members' remains had been left unclaimed since 1973.

“We took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and so did they and in that way we really need to thank and honor them just like we would any of the other veterans in the cemetery,” said Malecki.

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