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Remains of WWII veteran laid to rest in Hancock Co.

Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 11:53 PM CDT
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LEWISPORT, Ky. (WFIE) - A 14 News follow up on Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin Young. He died in 1941 when his battleship was attacked during Pearl Harbor.

[PREVIOUS: Hawesville sailor killed in Pearl Harbor attack returns home]

His remains, found after being missing for 80 years, were finally laid to rest in Lewisport on Saturday.

Over 600 flags lined the streets for miles through Lewisport, all to honor the fallen Navy soldier who was originally from Hawesville.

“It’s a way of bringing the community together,” Jeffrey Hastings said. “It’s not about us, it’s about bringing the community together and giving them the tools and equipment to pay their honor and pay their respect.”

Fellow retired veterans waited as the hearse left Gibson and Son Funeral Home. Young’s remains were accounted for in August 2019. His battleship was attacked in Pearl Harber back in 1941.

“To have these guys missing in action and unidentified for 80 plus years, it’s definitely a bittersweet moment to know that they’re coming home to their families,” Todd Matonich, president of Rolling Thunder Kentucky 5 Chapter said.

“We’re all brothers and sisters, you know? We are one huge family,” Hastings said. “Every veteran out here is my brother or sister.”

Those brothers and sisters led the way to the cemetery, motorcycles thundering, letting Young’s family know they are not alone in welcoming their loved one home.

“Our mother talked about him all of her life,” Layman Hawkins Jr., Young’s nephew said. “We never knew him because we weren’t even born when he was, but it’s like we knew him better than our uncles that we did know.”

Family and community members gathered to commemorate Young’s service and finally laid him to rest.

“Wonderful, just wonderful,” Hawkins Jr. said. “And finally we can bring closure to this.”

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