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DUNKIRK A long-awaited return nears

It has been a long road home for Sgt. Gerald B. Raeymacker. In 1948, the young man enlisted in the U.S. Army and was later stationed in North Korea where he died in the Chosin Reservoir area during the Korean War.

His death and unknown whereabouts filled his family members with grief. This past August, however, there was newfound hope. Relatives learned his remains were positively identified after a number of family members participated in having a blood sample taken and submitted to the U.S. Defense Agency.

That leads us to this week when Sgt. Raeymacker returns home. It is a big deal.

On Thursday, he will arrive at Buffalo airport and be escorted via the Thruway to Dunkirk by the Patriot Guard. On Saturday, U.S. servicemen are asked to pay their respects at Holy Trinity Church starting at 8:30 a.m. and lasting for 90 minutes.

A Mass of Christian burial follows at the church at 10 with services moving to Willowbrook Cemetery at 11 with full military honors. His mother’s dying wish will have been answered.

Sgt. Gerald Raeymacker returned — and is being buried right next to his mom. “Seventy years later, we finally get closure,” Dunkirk resident and niece Darlene Cooley said.

God bless this family — and America.

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