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Final Resting For 62 Unclaimed Cremains At LINC

Spanish-American War veteran among those honored

On Saturday, May 19 the Long Island National Cemetery (LINC) became the final resting place for the ashes of 62 unclaimed veterans, along with some of the cremains of family members. Dozens of Patriot Riders, police escorts, the Shields Pipe Band, and the Joint Color Guard of Fort Hamilton escorted the hearses containing the remains from their respective funeral homes, to an assembly location off the expressway, and finally to the cemetery.

The procession passed through nearly a dozen “arches of honor,” where American flags fly high between two fire engines with ladders extended, along Wellwood Avenue in East Farmingdale, performed by many of the local fire departments.

The motorcycle riders idled in dutifully, before parking their motorcade and assuming Color Guard, also being performed by many local veteran organizations, around the perimeter of the ceremony.

Each of the 14 hearses carrying cremains took their turn pulling up to the front of the ceremony grounds. Pallbearers, many from local veterans’ organizations, and even some local Boy Scouts, carried each of the 62 golden cubed urns, one by one, to the presentation table as each of the names of the deceased were read, followed by a bell ringing, by Gold Star parents Ric Bruckenthal and Cynthia Ventura.

Army Chaplain Captain Sean Callahan gave a brief invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Martin Kohler, and The Star Spangled Banner by the Island Trees High School chorus.

Since the list of names was released it was confirmed that one of the veterans to finally receive a proper burial was Winfield S. Rowland, Army, who had served honorably in the Spanish-American War. The war resulted in Cuba’s independence from Spain, ending in August of 1898. Rowland’s remains presumably were in custody of the A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home in Huntington Station for decades.

Also among those receiving their final Taps were Samuel C. Anderson, Navy, who served honorably through World War I, World War II, and was allegedly killed in battle during the Korean War.

Additionally, two Purple Heart recipients received their final resting, John Kennedy, Army, served in WWI; and Clarence Rannin, Army, who served in WWII, along with Silver Star and Air Medal recipient John D. Mainwaring, Army, served in WWII.

Northport’s Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home Director Martin Kohler said proudly, “It is an honor for me to be a part of this service, to assist in arranging a meaningful service for these veterans, many who are war heroes, to remember them in this fashion shows that they are no longer forgotten, and they are where they belong, a national cemetery, a place reserved for those who served this country faithfully and honorably.”

Following the funeral service, volunteers from the NY 11th Regiment folded two ceremonial flags, which were presented to Rosann Santore, LINC director, to be placed on flag poles at the columbarium where the cremains will finally be placed.

Jo Pettit, executive director of Nassau-Suffolk Funeral Directors Association, on behalf of the 400 Licensed Funeral Director (LFD) members said, “It was our great honor to be a part in preparing a respectful disposition for those heroic people who at various times wore the uniform of the U.S. Military and stood in defense of all Americans. Proudly working with the staff at LINC, the Missing in America Project (MIAP), Patriot Guard Riders and the many other veterans and scouting organizations, and receiving the help and support of our county police and officials, made us even more mindful of what we do, which is bringing people home to their final resting place.”

Following brief closing remarks by Nassau County’s American Legion Commander Andrew Booth, one-by-one, the urns were returned to the waiting hearses and transported to the columbarium location on the cemetery grounds.

“The thought I woke up with this morning was, at the end of the day it was a funeral in the pure sense of the word. We honored our veterans in the manner that was due them for all the selfless service they gave to each one of us,” Beth Dalton-Costello, co-chair of the service’s executive committee and LFD of the Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes in Levittown told Anton Community Newspapers several days after the inurnment service. “The funeral homes that were the caretakers of the urns were finally allowed to bring these worthy men and women to a place of dignity and peaceful rest. Our ‘years of service’ reached the most satisfying conclusion and it was a joyful endeavor that we all, the NSFDA, the PGR, the MIAP, the American Legion and all the other veteran’s organizations, fire departments, police departments, and of course the LI National Cemetery, embarked on last year to bring these veterans to this place of honor. It is my fervent hope that this project will continue forward until all the veterans have been brought home to rest.”

The following names are in addition to those previously listed at www.anton in the story “Dozens More Veterans’ Names Released For Cremains Burial May 19” on May 11:  

Charles G. Schmitt Funeral Home, Seaford:

Ella Maxwell, wife of Rudolph J. Maxwell, Army, WWI
John Evans, Army, WWI
Philip Klingenberger, Marine Corps, WWII  

Taglia, Lysak & Co. Funeral Home, Lynbrook:

William L. Brown, Army, WWII

Michael J. Grant Funeral Home, Brentwood:

Carl H. Warner, Navy, WWII and Korea

A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home, Huntington Station:

Winfield S. Rowland, Army, Spanish-American War

Ruland Funeral Home, Patchogue:

Bert Clough, Army

St. James Funeral Homes, St. James:

Frank Hayes, Army, WWI
Walter R. Olsen, Marine Corps, WWI