Chicago Marine buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery without known family

ELWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- Veteran Stephen Myerson was buried Tuesday at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery three months after his death in an Elgin nursing home. A Vietnam War veteran who served in the U.S. Marines and was born in Chicago, Myerson died on September 11.

Nursing home and funeral home staff were unable to find or contact any family members, and so strangers attended a visitation and funeral service.

"He was a resident of one of our local nursing homes, and upon his passing we were contacted," said Corey Short, one of the funeral directors at Laird Funeral Home in northwest suburban Elgin.

Steve Mosias, another veteran, represented the Illinois Patriot Guard at the visitation.

"They weren't able to find a family member, so we all are a part of that family to come here and give support," Mosias said. "In a term, I'll sum it up: it's about respect."

Short said that it took over a month to receive lost discharge papers from the military, and then gave a bit more time before the burial, in case any family reached out.

"For us as a local business here in this community, we've always wanted to help out," Short said. "This is just one way that we're able to do that and give someone a dignified service that they deserve."
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