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1000 Strangers Pay Tribute to Marine with No Family

Veteran News
Veteran News
March 29, 2016
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1,000 Strangers Attend Funeral For Marine With No Family

In a show of respect, 1,000 strangers attended the funeral of a Marine who had no family. Carrie Gee, the funeral director at Legacy Cremation and Funeral Services worked to get him the funeral and send off he deserved.

On Nov. 17, a Marine veteran received a solemn and dignified funeral as 1,000 strangers made their way past his casket, one by one, to pay their respects. Just one month earlier, when Billy Aldridge passed away at 80 years old, there was no one to come and claim his body or set his affairs in order. His funeral seemed likely to be a lonely affair. Instead, community members, veterans, and service members from every branch came forward to give him a dignified send off.After Aldridge’s death on Oct. 14, neither the Indianapolis, Indiana, nursing home where he had lived nor the funeral home tasked with seeing to his affairs were able to reach any next of kin.Over the next two weeks, Carrie Gee, the funeral director at Legacy Cremation and Funeral Services, scoured Aldridge’s records searching for a contact, she told Task & Purpose in an interview. Gee finally got a break after speaking with his old landlord, who said he remembered seeing a photo of Aldridge in a military uniform “with some medals” in his old apartment.When Gee realized that Aldridge was a veteran, she reached out to the National Archives and put in a request for his records. The records revealed that Aldridge had served in the Marine Corps in the 1950s. Gee then put out a call to community members.In addition to the funeral home where Gee works, Private Label Caskets, Memorial Park Cemetery, and Indianapolis’ police escort team worked together to provide Aldridge the funeral ceremony and service that he deserved.“When we found out Mr. Aldridge was a veteran, we just felt we had to give him a proper and dignified burial,” said Eddie Beagles, vice president of funeral operations at Legacy Cremation and Funeral Services, in a news report by WISHTV.

Read the full story from Task & PurposeThose who have served our country honorably, deserve the respect of our Nation. It's wonderful to see people take the time and actually show this kind of respect in this day and age. To everyone involved, well done. Faith in humanity has been restored for now.

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