Forgotten veterans will receive full military honors

Sunday, November 20, 2022

123 urns with remains of forgotten veterans

Story and photos by Doug Cerretti

It was stunning. As I walked into Tribute Center and Celebration Hall at Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home and Cemetery (11111 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98133), I saw the 123 urns. I have never seen so many remains in one place.
Who are these people? 

They are 99 unclaimed Veterans, 14 Spouses and 10 dependent children. They are Veterans or dependents from the Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II, World War I, the Spanish-American War and the Indian Wars.

Corwin and Cameron were Spanish-American War vets
They are Robert V Cameron and John H Corwin, US Army veterans of the Spanish-American War. 

They are the Sutherland family, brothers Glen W, US Army and Ray C, US Navy, veterans of WWI and wife, Gertrude H and son, Ladd W. 

Sutherland family
They are Myra G Kinzie, beloved wife of John Kinzie a veteran of the Indian Wars, whose unclaimed remains have been waiting 110 years to be laid to rest.

This is the largest unclaimed recovery and interment in recent U.S. history. We were invited, November 14, 2022 to honor these 123 souls and proclaim, “they are no longer unclaimed.” 

These remains were unclaimed and forgotten, but at the ceremony we were there to change that they were unclaimed no longer, to remember them, as Soldiers never die unless forgotten. The unclaimed remains were found at Butterworth Funeral Home and Cemetery in Seattle.

Service Corporation International,, North America's largest provider of funeral, cemetery and cremation services, and its brand, Dignity Memorial®, have partnered with the Missing In America Project to inter the ashes of 99 veterans who never received a proper burial.

Veterans of WW I
The veterans have gone unclaimed for decades, because their families never made arrangements or they didn't have living family members to arrange a service. 

This will be the largest burial in MIAP history. The veterans will receive a dignified ceremony and final recognition of deep gratitude for their faithful service to our country.

The mission of the Missing In America Project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of American veterans and their dependents.

Veterans of WWI and WWII
They visit funeral homes around the country to fulfill their mission of securing a final resting place for the forgotten heroes. Volunteers create an inventory of ashes, and verify the date of birth, date of death and any other available information.

With the exception of three to be buried at sea and seven going to Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St, Kent, WA 98042, they will be honorably transferred to Washington State Veterans Cemetery 21702 W Espanola Rd, Medical Lake, WA, 16 November 2022 where they will be laid to rest with full military honors.
Myra Kinzie died 110 years ago

Tom Keating, Washington State Coordinator of the Missing in America Project, said that all the funeral homes had do is call a federal or state veterans cemetery to have these remains interred.

Butterworth was an independent, family owned business on Capitol Hill in Seattle, which now is part of the Dignity Memorial chain.


Anonymous,  November 20, 2022 at 10:43 AM  

This is totally wrong in every way, It is also very sad and Disrespectable. How many more funeral homes across the UNITED STATES have unclaimed remains
that need to interred in a proper way.

Jean Albertson,  November 20, 2022 at 12:14 PM  

What an amazing article. Will there be a following article on the interment with pictures at the veterans cemetery?

Jim deLucia, MIAP Ferndale WA,  March 12, 2023 at 7:10 PM  

Hi Jean, I hope someone responded to you or that you found this Spokane news article yourself. If not, enjoy:

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