Strangers Attend Funeral of Veteran With No Known Relatives
Hundreds of citizens paid respects to a U.S. Air Force veteran whose relatives couldn’t be found or contacted.
John James Murphy, 71, died last month with his funeral service being held on Wednesday in Elgin, Illinois, according to the Military Times. When the funeral tried to locate his relatives they had no success.
He was officially listed as an “unclaimed veteran.”
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) January 30, 2020
After the funeral home’s owners extended an open invite to the community – hundreds came.
Many were civilians, but mourners also included veterans and active service members, according to the Military Times. Some drove from up to an hour away.
“I didn’t think so many people would be here,” U.S. Navy veteran Cliff Hall told the Daily Herald. “This is incredible.”
The funeral home even received permission from the Department of Veteran Affairs to offer Murphy full military honors.
Murphy served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1969 as a jet engine mechanic. He received the Vietnam Service Medal, according to the Military Times.
Those in attendance applauded when Rev. Tim Perry said, “He is ours,” at the start of the service.