Vilma Baragona sat on the cement bench at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell and accepted a flag on behalf of a stranger.
Pfc. Lawrence Davis Jr. was a World War II veteran buried in a cardboard box and a shallow grave after dying alone in 2004 at age 85. Through the efforts of a funeral home, veterans and congressional leaders, he was reburied today in a military ceremony.
"It was an honor to receive the flag," said Baragona, whose son, Army Lt. Col. Dominic Rocco Baragona, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery after he was killed in a road accident in Iraq.
Baragona was surrounded by other Gold Star parents and spouses who have lost loved ones in the service, as well as veterans from the Patriot Guard Riders and Rolling Thunder motorcycle groups and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. Richard Nugent.
Nelson said later that he and other members of Congress would pass legislation to ensure the Veterans Administration provides caskets or urns for veterans such as Davis so this would never happen again.
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