A stillborn baby boy who was found abandoned at a recycling center in New Jersey has been laid to rest by students at Delbarton School.
A funeral service for the unclaimed infant, whose identity was not known, was held at Orchard Street Cemetery in Dover, 3.5 miles from where the baby’s body was found.
“We believe that no one deserves to die alone, and it’s only the right thing to do—to give them a proper burial and a proper funeral—because everyone’s life has value and they’ve all had different stories,” 18-year-old student Billy Schroeder told ABC affiliate WHAS-TV.
“We think it’s important to honor them as human beings, a basic tenet of respect I think,” said Schroeder, who is a member of the pro-life ministry Wave-4-Live at the Roman Catholic school.
The baby was named “Anthony Mary” after the patron saint of the day he was found: Oct. 24.
“We think every life is worth a shot and worth a fight,” said a junior student, John Manahan, the Daily Record reported.
The pallbearers carried the small, white coffin at a funeral mass where about 100 students, parents, and staff were present.
The body of the infant was found by a recycling center worker at the private ReCommunity Recycling center in the Mine Hill Township, according to sources.
The baby was found stillborn and weighed 5.7 pounds, according to court records obtained by the Daily Record. It is unknown who the parents are or where the baby was born.
Delbarton offered a funeral mass today for a stillborn baby abandoned at a local recycling center. Billy Schroeder '18, who eulogized baby Anthony (named after the patron saint of the day he was found) explains why today's service was important. https://t.co/Y1TwnsSR8z pic.twitter.com/BUaPAnMEIN
— Delbarton School (@Delbarton) December 18, 2017
Jack Townsend, a junior who read a passage of the Old Testament at the service, described the event to the Record.
“Today obviously was a very sad event and that the baby had to be abandoned, but he’s in our thoughts and prayers,” he said. “So are his parents, who I’m sure went through a tough time.”
Peggy Wright, a reporter for the Daily Record, described the funeral on Twitter as “beautiful” and “moving.”
Beautiful, moving funeral by Delbarton students for abandoned baby they named Anthony Mary. pic.twitter.com/BsqgQEyMcx
— Peggy wright (@PeggyWrightDR) December 18, 2017