Long-unclaimed York County veterans laid to rest with honors

From Staff ReportsJune 6, 2014 

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— A chaplain recited the 23rd Psalm.

Blue Star mothers placed a rose on each small casket.

Bagpipers played “Amazing Grace,” and those who came to honor the fallen sang along.

An honor guard fired a 21-gun salute.

Seven previously unidentified military veterans – including four from York County – were finally laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia on Friday after their remains had lain for years in a morgue, unclaimed.

Volunteers with the Missing in America Project work to identify the remains of veterans in the custody of coroner’s offices and arrange for their burial in national cemeteries across the nation.

The four U.S. Army veterans from York County who were buried Friday were:

• Technician Fifth Grade Marion C. Bomar, World War II (1943-46), who died in 2011.

• Spc. John Joseph Cardenas, Vietnam War (1971-74), who died in 2004.

• Sgt. Robert Earl Eames, Vietnam War (1964-68), who died in 2006.

• Sgt. Wade Lamont Harrington, Vietnam War (1964-67), died in 2013.

Members of American Legion posts in North Augusta and Chapin, who were instrumental in helping the Missing in America Project identify South Carolina veterans, led the funeral procession.

Young people from the state Department of Juvenile Justice, who built the urns that held the veterans’ ashes, were on hand Friday to witness the funeral rites.

The four York County veterans were among more than 30 sets of unclaimed remains held by Coroner Sabrina Gast’s office.

Friday’s ceremony was the seventh in the state since 2012, when a new law first authorized veterans service organizations to receive the cremated remains of unclaimed veterans from county coroners.

Almost 2,000 veterans nationwide have been buried with honors since the Missing in America Project’s inception in 2007.

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