Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Remembering the Forgotten

1,639 bodies will be laid to rest at 9:00 am in Los Angeles County today. No, they weren’t the victims of a terrorist attack or a massive accident or act of extreme nature. These individuals were the victims of poverty and loneliness and anonymity. They are the forgotten dead of the county in which I live and work.

According to a news article in the Los Angeles Times, every year Los Angeles County buries corpses in a mass grave, if after two to three years of storage the bodies remain unclaimed. Mostly the deceased are homeless people and people without families. Some remain unclaimed because their families are too poor to provide a fitting burial. Considering the dismal economy, I’m sure LA isn’t the only place in the country with this problem.

Today is also Pearl Harbor Day – a day of remembrance for those who died in the Japanese attack on our country seventy years ago. 2,403 people died that day.

In all the hubbub of the holiday season, the race against deadlines, and the headlong thrust to greet a New Year, I intend to pause today to honor the lives of 4,042 souls. Some we remember every year, but this year I’ve added 1,639 more to my list.

No matter how they died or what their status, these individuals deserve a moment of honor and respect, too.

2 comments:

gregkshipman said...

I can't think of a more fitting way to say what we all should be saying...'No human life should end without notice or pause'.

And mass graves for the forgotten, unwanted or unknown is even more tragic. To fall between the cracks is heart-wrenching... in this country more so.

I'll do my moment of silence for the Pearl Harbor Dead and also for those who are Forgotten... hopefully they now rest in whatever peace they have found.

Lynne DeVenny said...

Sue Ann, that is so sad. I can't help but wonder how many of them DO have friends and family that remember and love them - and wonder what happened to them, but don't know how to start looking.