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Mass burial honors those who gave bodies to science

The Baltimore Sun, June 20, 2011

Hundreds of Maryland residents every year — whether by design or circumstance — had their bodies turned over or given to the state anatomy board for science. They will share a final resting place, cremated and placed under a single grave marker in a field at the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville. Monday, mourners will gather as 600 more boxes of ashes are buried, joining 20,000 others, in a mass burial held every year in June. "The state has a duty to provide a dignified disposition of a body, with humanity," said Ronald S. Wade, director of the state anatomy board. "I'm a big believer that at some point, rest in peace."  Many of the people buried in Sykesville, their family histories, and sometimes even their families, lost. They all have stories, and though most will be buried with them, perhaps forever, survivors say they are grateful for the respectful end.