The New Jersey Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee has cleared a bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, which would allow the unclaimed ashes of a veteran's spouse or dependent to be united with the service member in a military cemetery.

Assemblyman Dancer's bill (A2244) will permit a veterans organization to bury those remains that have not been claimed within a year after cremation.

“Husbands and wives are usually buried together in private cemeteries and our fallen heroes should be given the same opportunity,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said in a statement.

Dancer said veteran’s organizations have reached out to him to fix the current law, which only allows them to collect unclaimed veterans’ ashes.

“Military families also pay a price for their spouses’ or parent’s service,” Dancer said. “Allowing them to be buried in a military cemetery, along with their loved one who served, is a way to show our appreciation for the entire family’s sacrifice and service.”

Dancer said that under the bill, the list of cemeteries where remains may be interred would expand from one, the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, to any local, state, or national veterans’ memorial military cemetery.

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