L.A. County to Honor Unclaimed Dead

1,457 people who died without loved ones to claim them will be honored at a 10:00 a.m. ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery on 3301 E. 1st St. in Boyle Heights.

The individuals were cremated in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times. Most of them either had no family, lost touch with family, or had family members who could not afford to have them memorialized.

An interfaith service held by the county provides “a solemn service to recognize that these were human beings, had their own stories, their own families,” said Father Chris Ponnet, director of spiritual care at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, who has been organizing the service for about 15 years.

Faith leaders from different religious backgrounds, including Ponnet, will preside over the ceremony in a variety of languages. In past years, people have paid their respects through readings of poetry and religious texts, including Psalm 23 in Hebrew and in English. One woman sang a Native American song facing each cardinal point.

More information about the deceased can be found here.


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