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 Lawrence Davis, Jr

Lawrence Davis, Jr

Death 11 Nov 2004 (aged 84)
Burial Bushnell, Sumter County, Florida, USA
Plot Sec 628, Site 280
Memorial ID 49680345 · View Source
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BUSHNELL, Fla. – The discovery of a World War II veteran buried in a cardboard box at Florida National Cemetery has triggered outrage in Congress. Workers made the discovery after they removed a headstone at the cemetery in Bushnell during routine maintenance, reported Saturday. The veteran named Lawrence Davis Jr. died in 2004 and had no loved ones to make funeral arrangements for him. He was buried in a shallow grave with no casket. The medical examiner sent Davis' remains in a cardboard box, and they were buried in the same box. Veterans Affairs manager Maurice Roan said, "We usually bury the container they come in as long as it's sealed. We make every effort to make sure they get a dignified burial." He added that the department goes out of its way to show dignity and respect. Florida National Cemetery holds a special service for all veterans who are buried without family present. Their names are read in a service that takes place four times a year. But giving it the power to purchase caskets for deceased veterans would take an Act of Congress. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said, "We're not going to treat the veterans of this country that way. We're going to ensure there is a dignified burial." Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., both support a new bill called The Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012. It would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to review its burial standards and would authorize it to purchase caskets or urns for all veterans in our national cemeteries. Fox News 2 Jun 2012

Congress Moves to Help Provide Burials for Vets.
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012 Daily Commercial

Because of Army Pvt. Lawrence Davis Jr., no veteran lacking finances or living relatives will have to suffer the indignity of being buried in a cardboard box.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Veterans Fiduciary Reform and Honoring Noble Service Act (H.R. 5948), requiring the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide caskets or urns for deceased veterans like Davis who are transferred to a VA cemetery in a substandard container. The bill now heads to the Senate.

"This legislation recognizes the service of our heroes and ensures that veterans who do not have immediate family are not forgotten and receive proper respect upon their passing," said Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-09), vice-chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee.

The bill came about after Davis' remains were unearthed in a cardboard box earlier this year during a renovation project to realign grave markers and replace dead grass at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. The World War II veteran's remains were later placed in a bag and reburied with what was left of the cardboard box that had come from the medical examiner's office.

The incident sparked outrage in Washington, D.C.

"When America's heroes make a commitment to serve their country, we make a promise to care for them," said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "That includes helping to provide them with a burial honoring their service. I was deeply disturbed when I heard this news. There is no reason why the remains of a veteran should ever be treated with this lack of dignity."

In July, Davis' remains were dug up buried again, this time in a new casket donated by Whitfield Funeral Home in Zephyrhills.

"Our nation's heroes deserve to be buried the same way they served this country -- with dignity and honor," Bilirakis said of the new legislation, "By ensuring our veterans receive proper burial upon their passing, we are not only recognizing their brave service to our country, but also the selfless sacrifices our service men and women and their families make to protect the freedoms and values we enjoy as citizens of this great country."

According to the Congressional Budget Office, as many as 100 veterans a year will now be buried with dignity as a result of the legislation. The CBO projected the cost at about $1 million a year.

Gravesite Details PVT US ARMY; WORLD WAR II
  • Maintained by: Robin
  • Originally Created by: GerbLady
  • Added: 14 Mar 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 49680345
  • Debra Fuller McGrew
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lawrence Davis, Jr (1 Dec 1919–11 Nov 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 49680345, citing Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Sumter County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Robin (contributor 47752601) .