Hundreds of veterans honor WWII Normandy MIA soldier as They cross New Mexico on historic Run for the Wall motorcycle mission - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds of veterans honor WWII Normandy MIA soldier as They cross New Mexico on historic Run for the Wall motorcycle mission

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SOURCE Run For the Wall

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy years is a long time to wait to return home.

Hundreds of veterans honor WWII Normandy MIA soldier as They cross New Mexico on historic Run for the Wall motorcycle mission

World War II soldier Lawrence S. Gordon, missing in action for 70 years, will be honored on the historic first trip of the Run for the Wall Midway Route across New Mexico on May 15-16, 2014 during this 26th Anniversary of The Run For the Wall (www.rftw.org) as a reminder to us all of the over 83,000 persons still listed as MIA since WWII.

Run for the Wall's mission is to promote healing among ALL veterans and their family and friends, according to Midway Route coordinator John Barker. As part of that mission, Barker said RFTW honors the memory of those from all wars and the veterans will see that PFC Gordon's story is taken to the memorial in Washington.

Private First Class Lawrence S. Gordon's story was a seven-decade-long mystery of a Saskatchewan, Can.-born soldier fighting for the U.S. Army, according to reports from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He was missing and presumed dead after a battle at Saint Lo, north of Normandy, France, in 1944. It is believed his remains were placed in a German vault, as soldier x-3, because scraps of a German uniform were found with his remains.

His family had requested information from the U.S. government for decades, but was frustrated every time. His nephew and namesake Lawrence R. Gordon, said he promised his father he would find his uncle's final resting place. Lawrence R., a lawyer from Medicine Hat, Alberta, fulfilled that promise and went searching for his uncle.

After cooperation from both French and German officials and after U.S. documents were declassified, PFC Gordon's remains were located and a DNA match confirmed he was the missing family member. Lawrence R. is preparing now for the return of his uncle's remains to the U.S. this summer, with final interment in Eastend, Sask., on Aug. 13, 70 years after the PFC went missing. More information on PFC Gordon's story can be found at War and Military Records, www.warhistoryonline.com, and in a Feb. 24, 2014, article on the identification of his remains at www.cbc.ca/news.

The Midway Route, one of three that crosses New Mexico, will carry letters and other memorabilia for Gordon across the country to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Run reaches Washington the Friday before Memorial Day and joins with thousands of  veterans for ceremonies at the The Wall – the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,  the WWII Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.  Their mission culminates on Sunday with in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle demonstration, bringing attention to the more than 1,640 POW/MIA/KIA's from the Vietnam War and countless others from military actions from WWII through Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Midway Route riders will be greeted as they take I-40 across America with banners on overpasses, receptions at veteran's hospitals and memorials and will receive food, gas and quarters from cities and organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and churches. Special stops in New Mexico include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Grants; Kirtland AFB to honor our active military and civilian defense personnel, the New Mexico Veterans' Memorial in Albuquerque, and a ceremony at the Blue Hole State Park in Santa Rosa.

A contingent of more than 100 RFTW riders from across the country are planning a trip to Canada for the memorial service Aug. 13. For more information on this trip, contact Les Williams, RFTW Midway Route platoon leader, at boodawglkw@gmail.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140512/86854

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