A World War I veteran was buried without military honors in 1987, but 35 years later she received recognition for her service
By Jessica Nolte
via the Daily Press web site
A Newport News woman served during World War I, but no one played “Taps” or folded and presented the American flag at her funeral. She was buried without military honors — a wrong that a group of people wanted to make right.
Marie Garrow Moss was born in Newport News and later moved to New York where she became one of 223 women recruited to the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate the military’s telephone switchboards during World War I. The women, nicknamed the “Hello Girls,” swore the Army oath and — many years later — became recognized as the first female members of the U.S. Army.
After the war ended in 1918, the women were sent home without veteran’s benefits. It wasn’t until 60 years later that legislation recognized them as veterans.
Moss died on July 7, 1987 — about nine years after the legal recognition — at 93 years old. But she was buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Newport News without any military honors.
Newport News Historic Services partnered with The Virginia War Museum Foundation and American Legion Braxton Perkins Post 25 and held a ceremony Saturday to present Moss’ relatives with the honors she didn’t receive at her funeral. A plaque honoring her service will also be installed next to her headstone in the upcoming days.
“Particularly here in Hampton Roads, and coastal Virginia, we’re very aware of the role of the military and the sacrifices that military members make,” said Anne E. Miller, superintendent of historic services for the city of Newport News’ Parks and Recreation Department. “It’s quite shocking to hear at the end of the war that a group of people who served were just dismissed without any recognition. ... It’s quite shocking to hear that a veteran would be buried without the proper funeral and recognition.”
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