Marine Corps Pfc. George B. Murray was buried with full military honors Friday at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery, nearly 74 years after his death in World War II.
Pfc. Murray, of Oceano, died during a battle in the Tarawa Atoll and was buried on the island. In recent years, according to the Department of Defense, his remains were recovered during an archaeological mission and positively identified thanks to laboratory testing.
Murray's remains arrived back in California on Wednesday. On Friday, people waving American flags lined Highway 1 as the procession escorting his casket made its way through Oceano to the cemetery where Murray was buried. His casket was placed on top of his mother's
"The family has been working on it for the last 8 years, and we finally succeeded in bringing him back to his mother. His mother has always waited and has waited for him to come back," said George Winslett, George Murray's nephew.
"I am just so pleased how peaceful they must be to have him back and he is really home, with family," said Carla Muller, who took part in the flag ceremony.
A 93-year old World War II veteran also drove from Santa Maria to honor a man who fought in the same war he did.
"All I've done is to pay my respects for this young man who died," said veteran Jim Brunson.
The family was presented with a flag as a symbol of appreciation for Murray's service.
"There is nothing in words to really say. It just chokes me up to think about it. It's amazing and I'd like to thank everybody that's done it," Winslett said. "He's finally home at rest where he belongs."
Procession for Pfc. George Murray pic.twitter.com/w4pVCdkQEw— Brooke Martell (@BrookeMartell) August 18, 2017