Pvt. George McCarthy likely had stories worth listening to. He passed away about 70 years ago at the age of 102. In his century of life, he saw the world change drastically and survived fighting in the Civil War. Somehow, when he did go, there was no one there to claim him, and his ashes waited on a shelf in a Kansas City funeral home for decades.
Now McCarthy's remains, along with 13 other veterans whose remains were similarly forgotten, have been laid to rest with a formal military funeral at Fort Leavenworth.
The veterans were discovered by the Missing in America Project, which seeks to find the cremated and abandoned remains of American soldiers so they can be memorialized properly.
Sadly, unclaimed remains are common. Way back in 2007, I wrote about the Raytown funeral home that handled the bulk of the county's burial needs for abandoned bodies ("Lawn of the Dead"), cremating the remains and scattering the ashes at one very old tree so that if anyone ever came looking, they'd at least know where their loved one was.