The burial of war dead was a key element of displacement and community formation during wartime and postwar China and Taiwan, 1937–1955. Reckoning with the physical burial and spiritual pacification of civilian as well as military dead posed practical and epistemological problems for the tens of millions forced to migrate amid shifting political and military boundaries. Various populations of living and dead refugees became increasingly politicized on the national and international levels, affecting local rituals and family burials. The accumulation of unidentified or lost bodies raised the stakes for the incorporation of the known dead into local, translocal, or national communities. The moral imperative of families and lineages to reconstitute themselves in the aftermath of war was made concrete via the extensive networks of locally-identified charitable organizations who worked to transport coffins back “home” from China's interior. The Nationalist government, meanwhile, prioritized symbolic control over military heroes in ways that ignored or eschewed burial and family ritual. The KMT and those who fled with them to Taiwan in 1949 were then cut off from their national as well as family graves, and struggled to find ritual and practical methods of overcoming or temporarily ameliorating political boundaries, geographic distance, and the passage of time.