Newly Found WWI Veteran Reburied, with Honors
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
There was an unusual service at Arlington National Cemetery today. U.S. Army Private Francis Lupo was buried more than eight decades after he was killed in France.
It's not the first time the Pentagon has identified a soldier's remains after the fact, but NPR's David Greene says it's the first time for a soldier from World War I.
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DAVID GREENE: Private Francis Lupo's burial at Arlington had all the familiar trappings.
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GREENE: But his story is a new one for the Pentagon. Lupo was born to Sicilian immigrants and left Ohio to fight in World War I. He was killed in 1918 in the Second Battle of the Marne, which turned the Germans away from Paris but cost many allied lives.
For 85 years, Lupo remained buried near where he fell, but in 2003, French archaeologists found his remains along with part of a military boot and a wallet. The Pentagon uses DNA analysis to identify the remains of soldiers, usually from World War II and beyond.
Lupo was long listed as missing at a U.S. cemetery in France. His family could have buried him there but decided they wanted his remains at Arlington. Charles Krone(ph) is from the American Battle Monuments Commission, which maintains U.S. military cemeteries abroad. He was at Arlington today and said many of Lupo's comrades buried on foreign soil are being forgotten.
Mr. CHARLES KRONE (American Battle Monuments Commission): What's happened now with our cemeteries is that the next of kin are dead or dying, so we're finding fewer and fewer Americans visiting these lovely spots.
GREENE: At Arlington, the flag draped over Lupo's casket was handed to his niece, Rachel Kleisinger, who was born about 15 years after he died.
David Greene, NPR News, Washington.