Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome Home Soldier

Service for US soldier killed in Korean War set this week  

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- The U.S. state of West Virginia said Friday it plans to hold a special service this week for an American soldier killed in the Korean War six decades ago.

The remains of Cpl. James S. Murray were returned to his hometown from North Korea in the 1990s, but final identification was made only last December through investigation and DNA testing.

He was captured by North Korean troops while serving in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation ordering all U.S. and state flags displayed at state facilities be lowered to half-staff from dawn to dusk on the occasion of the funeral service on Saturday.

"Today we remember Cpl. James Samuel Murray and the sacrifice he made for his country so long ago," said Tomblin. "It is an important reminder that our servicemen and women work diligently to protect the freedom we enjoy each day. It is my hope that the family of Corporal Murray will take comfort knowing he is now in his proper and final resting place."

The upcoming service comes as the U.S. seeks to resume talks with North Korea on the recovery of remains of American troops killed in the Korean War.

The U.S. recently sent a letter requesting a meeting with Pyongyang on the issue, according to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), affiliated with the Department of Defense.

The North has not replied yet, DPMO officials said.

Nearly 8,000 U.S. servicemembers are listed as missing from the war and the remains of more than half of them are estimated to be buried in the communist nation.

Joint recovery efforts between the Cold War foes were suspended in 2005, with Washington concerned about the safety and security of its workers.

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