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Gone but no longer forgotten: At long last, these four World War I veterans receive memorial service 

By Carisa Cegavske
via the New-Review newspaper (OR) web site

The cremated remains of four World War I veterans were transported in a horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by Patriot Guard Riders and a police escort, to their final resting place at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex Tuesday afternoon.

The veterans’ remains were forgotten on a shelf at a local mortuary before being rediscovered through the painstaking research of Douglas County Veterans Forum member Carol Hunt and retired Roseburg National Cemetery technician Gigi Grimes Shannon. What the two women found was one of the largest groups of unclaimed veterans remains ever to have been recovered in the state.

In all, 28 veterans will be interred at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex columbarium over three days of memorials this week. The last two memorials are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday’s procession led out from the Douglas County Courthouse, where the remains have been stored for the past four weeks. It headed downtown to Harvard Avenue and made its way to the cemetery. Once there, the veterans received a memorial service with full military honors, attended by about 100 people. Following the public service, the four were interred in the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex columbarium.

Douglas County Veterans Forum President Larry Hill said at Tuesday’s ceremony that the members of every military branch know that no one is to be left behind.

“These veterans being honored here today were left in dark, dank, moldy, dusty, dirty conditions, in a cold crypt or attic for periods ranging from a little over two decades to over 44 years or longer,” he said. While there, he said, the situation of the formerly lost veterans’ remains were parallel to that of a soldier missing in action or a prisoner of war.

“They too are missing, they too are unable to be with loved ones, they too are unable to join their comrades in arms in their final resting place. I therefore accord them all the love, honor and respect given to a returning POW,” Hill said.

Read the entire article on the News Review web site.

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