400 show up to honor forgotten heroes
SARASOTA- Twelve forgotten veterans were laid to rest today at Sarasota National Cemetery, some more than a decade after they passed. More than 400 on the Suncoast showed up to make sure they were not alone.
“It’s obviously to show our respect,” Co-Founder of SRQ Vets Bill Sterbinsky said. “But it’s also to honor a culture, and that culture is based on that respect.”
The veterans were interred as part of the Missing in America Project.
“We work with funeral homes, crematoriums, medical examiners offices, etc.” Church said. “To locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of veterans, spouses and dependents.”
Once they are found, they work with National Cemetery’s to make sure the veterans get the resting place they deserve… And they invite the community to honor them.
“One it says a lot for this community,” Church said. “Two it says a lot for the people that work at the cemetery and the participants because they are the ones that spread the word, we send out the invitations to American Legions, VFW’s and so forth and everyone pushes it out from there.”
Most of those who showed up were veterans themselves… Co-Founder of SRQ Vets Bill Sterbinksy says it’s a duty.
“When you see or hear about a brother or sister whose time has passed the thing to do is honor their service,” Sterbinsky said. “And that’s why we’re here. We’re here to let them know that they’re video is not forgotten.”
Sterbinsky says organizations like SRQ Vets have the resources to help veterans find companionship.
“There is a ton of resources like the DAV’s and the VFW’s,” Sterbinksy said. “There are things like Operation Second Chance, there are things like Operation Warrior Resolution.”
Today’s ceremony honored veterans who died from 2005-2016, but funerals for veterans with little to no family are held almost every Wednesday at Sarasota National Cemetery.