JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Forgotten veterans whose cremains for whatever reason were unclaimed and stored on shelves at local funeral parlor now have a home.
On Friday, a military service was held at the Jacksonville National Cemetery for 20 veterans. The Missing in America Project is on a mission both nationally and locally to locate and identify veterans who have not been properly interned.
"Today they are found. They are no longer missing in America," said Colonel Howard McGillan, Jr., U.S Army retired, who was a guest speaker at the service.
"We did not know. We thought ashes had been scattered. We did not know they had been kept," said Michael Lucas, who came from Orlando to attend to the service for his father James Lucas, who served in the U.S. Army in World War II.
He found out yesterday from his brother, Jim, that a service was planned for dad.
"I am glad to have it. It brings back memories, he was a great man," said Lucas about his father, who died 43 years ago in Jacksonville.
The Missing in America team locally is planning three more memorial services this year.