Fallen WWII veteran from Piedmont honored 66 years later - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fallen WWII veteran from Piedmont honored 66 years later

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After flying home from Virginia, Mark Fagan is now back in Birmingham, walking through baggage claim carrying a wooden triangular box of bravery, valor and sacrifice. It holds the American flag honoring his uncle, Private Fred Fagan.

"After 66 years, to have our family member finally get brought home and given the proper burial. Just amazing, the whole experience," says Mark Fagan.

Mark and his family laid their fallen loved one to rest at Arlington Cemetery last week. It was an emotional moment that was a long time coming. Private Fagan's plane crashed in Burma in 1944. The Army pronounced him dead but since there was no tangible evidence that he died until the new millennium, the 27 year-old Army volunteer from Piedmont wasn't honored until now.

"The Arlington lady gave us a sympathy card. The Department of Defense issued us a sympathy card," says Mark Fagan.

The ceremony included a fly over.

"Full military honors with a 21 gun salute," says Mark Fagan.

A salute that mark is grateful he lived to see.

"It was just one of the proudest and most surreal days. It's such a great honor to know that he's buried with his crew and his comrades within view of the Washington Monument," says Mark Fagan.

Private Fred Fagan was one of seven crew members on board the plane. In fact, last week's burial at Arlington was held for the families of all 7 servicemen.