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County's Republican Caucus takes action to honor deceased veterans

The Erie County Legislature's Republican Caucus is sending a strong message to New York State leaders with its support of a resolution during the April 29 session, calling for the passage of the Veterans' Cremains Act.

The act would allow funeral directors to grant qualified veterans' organizations the right to receive the cremains of a veteran which has not been claimed by a relative or friend of the deceased within one year after cremation. By doing so, the forgotten veteran would finally be given full military honors and laid to rest.

"The Republican Caucus is proud to announce its support for this initiative," said Minority Leader John J. Mills, R-Orchard Park. "I think any action taken to honor our veterans, especially those that lost their lives, should be paid immediate attention. I strongly encourage our state leaders to act appropriately and quickly."

According to reports, there are cases where the ashes of fallen veterans, who were cremated in New York, aren't properly interned because neither a family member nor a friend claims the remains.

To date, the NYS Assembly has not passed a bill on this matter. The NYS Senate recently approved a similar bill.

Members of the Republican Caucus, Legislators Mills, Lynne Dixon, District 12; Dino Fudoli, District 5; Kevin Hardwick, District 10; Edward Rath, District 15; and Ray Walter, District 4, were cosponsors of the resolution and respectfully request that the State Assembly take immediate action on this matter.

The bill has earned the support of the Erie County Veterans Service Agency.