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Hundreds show up to funerals for WWII veterans whose families could not be found

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. – It was a touching show of respect across North Fulton and Cherokee counties as hundreds gathered Tuesday at the Georgia National Cemetery to say goodbye to seven veterans of World War II.

The men died in the decades following the war, but their remains were left unclaimed.

Those who couldn’t pay their respects at the cemetery lined streets from Roswell to Woodstock to wait for the funeral procession.

Penny Depuy told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen that she brought her children out to see the procession as it passed them along Highway 92 in Woodstock.

“They wrote 50 letters to veterans who are shut-ins recently. This continues what we’re supposed to do for our country as Americans,” Depuy said.


The procession carried the seven soldiers and sailors who served in WWII.

“Just the fact that they had been temporarily forgotten, now we’re going to bring them back to the cemetery where people can see their graves — where people will remember,” said veteran Mike Wilds.

At the Georgia National Cemetery, a service was held to honor them.

Each of the fallen died in the decades following the war, but no living relatives could be found. Their ashes were stored on shelves in funeral homes all around the state.

The state chapter of the Missing in America Project organized Tuesday’s gathering so the men could finally be laid to rest next to their comrades.

Back along the highway, the dozens who gathered told Petersen that it was the least they could do.

“It is very sad. But our country is one big family. So, we’re here to support where we can,” Depuy said.

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