Topics: Cremation, Funeral, Burial Pages: 4 (1433 words) Published: November 20, 2010

Cremation offers an affordable alternative to traditional funerary services. Cremation costs much less than a traditional funeral service and burial. For example, a traditional funeral and burial service can cost in excess of $7,000 at a minimum, while many crematoriums offer cremation and a container for the ashes for around $1,200 (Hutchins 18A). In light of changing social values with respect to funeral services, cremation also offers a modern alternative to long, drawn-out burial services that often take a heavy emotional toll on the loved ones of the deceased. Over the past three decades, cremations have risen in number in the U.S. According to one report, the rate of cremations "has jumped from 5% of deaths nationwide in the early 1970s to more than 25 percent today" (Broadway 25). Nevertheless, cremation is literally a process whereby the remains of the deceased are burned and then any remaining bones are pulverized into ash. However, recent front-page headlines in Georgia and abuses at crematoriums and funeral homes that have them across the nation show that when it comes to cremation it is often the consumer who gets burned. In one of the most grisly discoveries in Georgia history, investigators discovered that a crematorium run by Ray Brent Marsh abused hundreds of bodies that were to be cremated by randomly burying them in piles in graves, on the property surrounding the crematorium, and in the nearby lake. Investigators have uncovered 339 bodies to date, but have only searched the area 50 yards out from the crematorium in an investigation that is expected to cost tens of millions of dollars (Crematory B2). Allegedly, instead of cremating the bodies in the typical fashion, Marsh would take money from consumers and then dispose of the bodies in a manner that Bradley County Sheriff Dan Gilley notes is "in violation of state law and offensive to the sensibilities of ordinary people" (Crematory B2). Marsh's parents and sister were arrested...
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