Monday afternoon, dozens of Limestone County community members lined up at Evans Cemetery to pay their respects to a World War II veteran who was being laid to rest in his hometown after 77 years.
The service was for Edgar Gross, who was killed on the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Gross was unidentified up until just recently. Once his family heard he was found, they were ready to bring him back home.
“They say they found it out by his teeth. I couldn’t believe it, after all these years,” said Gross’ niece, Mae Daly.
Daly is Gross’ closest living relative. She said their relationship wasn’t much, but she is very thankful to have him home again. Gross traveled a lot with the military, meaning Daly wasn’t able to see him much, but because she is the closest relative still alive, she received the flag that was brought with his remains.
Other folks in attendance said they showed up to pay their respects on a holiday dedicated to fallen soldiers.
“The least I could do was come out here and show my respect not only to him but all the other fallen soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen,” said John Witt.
Eleven-year-old Logan Ridgeway said his father told him the story of Gross, that’s why they came to see him buried. Ridgeway was inspired to see technology helping families reunite in such a unique way.
“I think it’d be really cool for people to be identified and brought back so their parents can see them again and all that; like people that drowned on the Arizona and the Oklahoma and just anyone who’s fallen. I think that’d be really cool to happen,” he said.