Nine Aiken County men and women were laid to rest this morning in Aiken's Pauper Burial.
That service is organized by Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton for the the dead who otherwise would not receive a proper burial. It is held at Calvary Cemetery in Aiken.
When you hear pauper's funeral, you may think that means these men and women laid to rest behind me were unclaimed or unloved. But as the priest mentioned this morning these are brothers and sisters in the community and many of them had family today who love them very much.
Family members and members of the community gathers to pay their final respects to nine members of the Aiken community whose bodies are in these urns. The pauper's funeral is for unclaimed bodies and for those whose families can't afford to bury them. This is the 14th year of the funeral and it includes a priest and bagpipes to ensure no matter how poor or alone someone is they can have dignity after death.
And for families who can't afford to bury their dead, that feels like a divine gift:
"When they told me bagpipes were going to be here I just knew God had done this," says Mary Cadiente. Cadiente's mother passed and she did not have the money to provide a proper service; she says she could not otherwise afford to bury her mother.
"God has blessed our family and all these other families because without it I don't know what I would've done," she says.
This year is the last year that the service will be held at Calvary, off Gregg Highway. Next year the service will move to the Graniteville Cemetery.
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