Government Shutdown Threatens Small Business That Honors Veterans

Remember Heroes uses government website that allows people to locate gravesites

The government shutdown could end a former Marine's dream of honoring veterans at national cemeteries.

Remember Heroes delivers floral arrangements to national cemeteries and then photographs and records the flowers so friends and family can share the memorial with loved ones.

It launched nationally on the day the government shut down. But Remember Heroes uses a government website that has been closed with the shutdown.

"It is frustrating that even our veterans who have already passed away are being hurt by this government shutdown," said Michael Merit, Remember Heroes co-founder and president. "As a small business owner, it is incredibly frustrating."

Remember Heroes is extremely personal to Merit. In 2002, seven of his fellow Marines died in a plane crash in Afghanistan on an aircraft on which he was supposed to be. Merit wanted to honor all of them -- in different military cemeteries -- on Veterans Day.

"I got to thinking, 'There have to be other people in this situation,'" he said.

But Remember Heroes can't complete orders without a government website that allows people to find the locations of veterans' graves in national cemeteries.

The paychecks of Remember Heroes' seven employees and contractors around the country are now in jeopardy.

"Until the government opens back up, we can't do business. ... We just opened. We may end up just having to close right down," Merit said.

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