Too Many Funerals

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Funerals Online, a consumer information website and funeral home directory, said. The Associated Press could find no data on the number of remains or cremains abandoned by families at funeral homes in Detroit. The medical examiner's office in Wayne County, where Detroit is located, says it buries about unclaimed bodies each year. Authorities shut down Cantrell Funeral Home last April. In October, authorities received a tip that led them to the mummified remains of 10 fetuses and a full-term infant in the building's ceiling. Days later, the remains of 63 fetuses were removed from Perry Funeral Home in Detroit.

Then in December, a suburban cemetery closed after authorities found remains of fetuses and infants — handled by Perry — in leaky plastic containers. The Associated Press has been unable to find a telephone listing for Raymond Cantrell, who owned the Cantrell Funeral Home when its license was suspended last April.

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Znachko saw a need after learning about the discovery of a baby's remains in a trash bin in Indianapolis in ; it turned out a funeral home had dumped the remains along with others after going out of business. Znachko was shocked to learn that unclaimed remains would be buried in a mass grave. I said, 'Why do we even have those? Debate HQ U. Sections U. Follow NBC News.

So perhaps it was on his mind as he laid the blueprint for his own funeral. Like Pericles, his friends chose to praise McCain for that which he would have wanted most to be praised: his commitment to the highest standards of American public life.

Too many funerals this year - A Voice for Men Forums

Inevitably, minds turned to the figure who, McCain felt, embodied the corruption of that American democracy: President Donald Trump. As the British playwright Lucy Prebble tweeted during the funeral, "it's rare for a funeral to have a nemesis. George W. Bush and Barack Obama: Consolers in chief. President Barack Obama started his eulogy with a greeting to each of the other former Presidents and Vice Presidents present in the room: Bush, Clinton, Gore, and Cheney. Nothing made Trump's absence from the ceremony more conspicuous.

The references to Trump continued, oblique, but clear. Obama lamented contemporary politics with a line that could be a summary of Trump's Twitter feed : "So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage.

Bush, the most recent former Republican President, took a swipe at his co-partisan while praising McCain's lifelong opposition to "bigots and swaggering despots. In a eulogy her father had requested she deliver, she remarked : "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.

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In another moment, she seemed to take aim at Trump's failure to serve in Vietnam. The significance of lying in state. Despite McCain's heroism, Trump notoriously mocked him during the election campaign.

I like people who weren't captured," said the now-President, who was exempted from the draft after a doctor diagnosed him with bone spurs. But McCain's funeral was not the only farewell to an American icon this weekend, nor the only funeral to an icon recently insulted by Donald Trump.

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The friends and family of Aretha Franklin gathered on Friday, not for a funeral but a homegoing -- a service drenched deep in the traditions of African-American church and the civil rights movement. While McCain's funeral recalled Eurocentric classical traditions Athenian democracy, after all, did not extend to women and slaves , Franklin's evoked the scores of civil rights funerals at which she had sung, or at which her father had preached. In Detroit, there was clear anger toward President Trump -- particularly after comments in which he claimed the icon had "worked" for him "on numerous occasions.

Early in the evening, Al Sharpton reclaimed her for his black-majority congregation, quipping at Trump that "she used to perform for you -- she worked for us. Aretha Franklin's funeral fit for a queen After a crescendo of insults -- "you doppelganger of deceit and deviance," Dyson declared : "She ain't work for you. She worked above you. She worked beyond you. Get your preposition right. But as with McCain's funeral, the call to political resistance was largely implicit.

As befits a great artist, the moments that spoke most powerfully of Franklin's spirit were moments of poetry and song: Cicely Tyson repurposed Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, "When Malindy Sings;" Pastor E. Branch quoted Longfellow: "'Dust thou art, to dust returnest' was not spoken of the soul. Where McCain's friends told stories of bipartisan camaraderie, Franklin's were clear about the Democrat sympathies in the audience.


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If McCain's service was bipartisan, Franklin's was explicitly Democratic. Regretting that "we" lost Michigan by 11, votes in , the Rev. Jesse Jackson lamented that the unregistered voters in black-majority Detroit could have swung the state. William Barber, who referred to Hillary Clinton as "the woman who won the popular vote for President," echoed his call for voter registration drives. Is it possible for the funeral of any great activist to reach across the aisle, and yet stake out a clear political legacy to its mourners?

How Aretha's powerful sensuality paved the way. At both funeral services this weekend, mourners tried to answer that question. But Lieberman's break with his own Democratic party demonstrates neatly that it's hard to keep ties with one political tribe while frequently cutting deals in the center. Lieberman's pally anecdotes about McCain will not have wide outreach.

Voters whose loyalties have been won by partisan promises are rarely keen on their representatives hobnobbing in international hotels with the opposition. When civility becomes chumminess, politics looks like the game of a clubbable elite. At Franklin's funeral, the same questions were expressed in the visible tension between politics of respectability and radicalism. A testament to Franklin's broad church of friends, on the podium we saw radicals Louis Farrakhan, whose presence drew controversy due to lifelong accusations of anti-Semitism next to black conservatives Rev.

Jasper Williams Jr. There were even swipes between those asked to commemorate Franklin. Barack and Michelle Obama sent a letter to be read on their behalf. Dyson, who has written widely on Obama's legacy as a biracial President, claimed in his speech : "Now, negros scared to say they black.

Why Too Many Funerals Aren’t Worth Going To (& How To Fix That!)

Scared to show up at a too black place. That's why some black folk ain't here today. They sending letters, they don't want to get up in this blackness. Follow CNN Opinion.

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