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Freedom Fighters Funeral

On Saturday, June 22, dozens of veterans and supporters of the Missing In America Project (MIAP) turned out to help give Garden City residents Arthur S. Boege, Edna S. Boege, and Eleanore Carey a proper burial after more than 52 years. Carey and the Boeges, along with the ashes of 40 other unclaimed veterans and unclaimed spouses of veterans, were given proper interment.

This burial of unclaimed remains, with interment at the Long Island National Cemetery (LINC) in East Farmingdale, was coordinated by National Representative John Calderelli, of MIAP, and American Legion Post 1244. More than 26 service organizations, including the Greenlawn Fire Department, American Legion Riders and Color Guards, and Nassau County fire and police units participated in the coordination of the ceremonies and final placement in the columbarium at LINC.

Civil War and historical re-enactment members of Company K, 67th New York Volunteer Infantry, 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Garibaldi Guard, Winslow’s Battery 1st New York’s Light Artillery, and Major Robert Burns and Squad of the 11th Regiment U.S. Volunteers were present for a significant tribute to two of the unclaimed veterans. Army soldiers Henry Eggers and Emanuel Lederer, both having served in the Civil War, were finally put to rest. Eggers remains have been on the shelf of a local funeral home since 1921 while Lederer’s remains were the longest unclaimed ashes in this specific burial effort having been around since 1917.

These cremains are not from deaths related to war. These are local residents who have died and were cremated. Families can have the remains placed at national cemeteries. In many cases, for unknown reasons families do not come back to claim the funeral remains or make a decision with what to do with the ashes.

The ashes of each veteran will be placed in niches on a recently built columbarium at Long Island National with proper identification, in case of a future retrieval request. The following are the names of the unclaimed veterans who received a proper burial on June 22, including, if known, their last known residence, branch of service, war era, birth and death dates.

Lonnie Belcher, St. Albans, Army, WWII, b.12/23/1914, d. 1/24/1990

Arthur S. Boege, Garden City, Navy, b. 1897, d. 10/27/1963

Earnest Broadhurst, Hempstead, Navy, WWII, b. 1/21/1911, d. 7/3/1960

Mortimer Carpe, Fresh Meadows, Army, WWII, b.11/8/1913, d. 9/3/1990

Christopher Cunningham, Jr., White Plains, Army, WWII, b. 8/28/1925, d. 4/6/1978

Walter W. Debooy, Flushing, Army, WWII, b. 8/8/1915, d. 11/23/1986

Lawrence R. Doernberger, West Hempstead, Army, WWI, b. 4/12/1899, d. 9/9/1969

Henry Eggers, Brooklyn, Army, Civil War, b. 1842, d. 11/26/1921

Walter James Freund, Forest Hills, Army, WWII, b. 10/23/1908, d. 2/8/1989

Leo Fridkin, Jackson Heights, Army, WWII, b. 6/17/1897, d. 3/18/1970

Leo Graham, Lloyd Neck, Coast Guard, WWII, b. 8/19/1923, d. 1/9/1969

Charles Emory Gumaelius, Hempstead, Army, WWI, b. 11/5/1903, d. 8/24/1971

Doris B. Heller, St. Albans, Army, WWII, b. 7/6/1914, d. 7/23/1988

Edwin C. Hicks, East Elmhurst, Marine Corps, WWII, b. 1/9/1919, d. 2/21/1992

Elmer H. Hintz, Manhasset, Army, WWI, b. 1/8/1898, d. 12/27/1970

Thomas R. Jordan, Brooklyn, Army, WWII, b. 1/31/1907, d. 9/25/1999

Harry Kahn, Flushing, Army, Mexican Border Action, b. 4/22/1886, d. 9/23/1964

Emanuel Lederer, New York, Army, Civil War, b. 1842, d. 8/21/1917

Robert E. Link, Rego Park, Army, WWII, b. 3/20/1918, d. 10/4/1994

Ernest A. Loeffler, Flushing, Navy, WWII, b. 1/10/1908, d. 3/4/1966

Ogden Hall MacGillivray, Flushing, Navy, WWI, b. 5/11/1897, d. 5/19/1965

Joseph Macklin, Long Beach, Navy, WWI, b. 3/15/1896, d. 5/21/1985

John K. Martin, Jamaica, Army, WWI, 9/30/1895, d. 3/17/1985

Barry Mayer, Port Washington, Army, WWI, b. 3/31/1894, d. 5/1/1965

Edwin Ellis Nugent, Manhasset, Navy, WWI, b. 5/6/1896, d. 6/3/1965

Vincent O’Brien, Forest Hills, Army, WWII, b. 10/10/1915, d. 8/13/1985

Martin Orman, Forest Hills, Navy, WWII, b. 2/12/1907, d. 6/26/1986

Ralph W. Pittman, Bayside, Army, WWII, b. 2/8/1924, d. 8/20/1988

Rudolph A. Ray, Bronx, Army, WWII, b. 9/21/1922, d. 1/2/1988

Edward W. Rosenberg, Astoria, Army, WWII, b. 7/12/1921, d. 5/3/1986

Barney Schneider, Sunnyside, Army, WWII, b. 10/20/1906, d. 9/7/1989

John Thom, Post Washington, Army, WWII, b. 11/7/1919, d. 4/12/1982

Paul T. Wood, Flushing, Navy, WWII, b. 11/13/1912, d. 2/18/1995

Herman Wooden, Jamaica, Army, WWII, b. 5/9/1922, d. 10/29/1995

Spouses of veterans

Charlotte A. Abarno, Douglaston, b. 2/16/1913, d. 4/5/1991

Ruth S. Block, Kew Gardens, b. 1/4/1922, d. 3/3/1996

Edna S. Boege, Garden City, b. 1900, d. 10/23/1966

Agnes Brush, Flushing, b. 2/23/1904, d. 6/12/1982

Eleanore Carey, Garden City, b. 1900, d. 10/22/1961

Florence Etringer, Howard Beach, b. 6/17/1901, d. 1/25/1984

Margaret Gero, Commack, b. 6/16/1900, d. 7/11/1985

Elizabeth Knepper, Corona, b. 1/12/1912, d. 2/10/1985

Clara Stone, Flushing, b. 10/11/1898, d. 12/20/1984

On May 19, 2012, Long Island veteran organizations and funeral homes gave proper military burials to more than 50 unclaimed veterans’ cremated remains at LINC. According to the National Registry of Funeral Directors, New York State allows unclaimed cremated remains to be placed in a tomb, mausoleum, crypt, niche in a columbarium, or to be buried in a cemetery, or scattered at sea, but not before 120 days after cremation. Permanent records must be kept by the funeral homes of the disposition of the remains. The law went into effect on Nov. 11, 2010 – Veterans’ Day – providing the flexibility and liability protections necessary for funeral directors and veterans’ organizations alike to carry out a proper burial.