LEOMINSTER (CBS/AP) — The remains of a Leominster soldier killed during the Korean War are returning home.
A procession bringing the remains of Pfc. Norman Dufresne is expected to arrive in the city via the Leominster connector at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Dufresne’s sister Claire Weber, of Illinois, fought back tears as she told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that her brother is “finally coming home.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Rod Fritz with Claire Weber
Weber is the last surviving member of Dufresne’s immediate family, which included 12 siblings.
“We waited a long time and never thought he would come back, but here he is,” Weber said.
City officials are inviting residents to line the route from Mechanic Street to Third Street to the Simard Funeral Home on Walker Street.
“We would like the citizens to line the streets and give him the welcome home he never received,” Rick Voutour, director of veteran services for Leominster told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
Dufresne went missing during a battle in South Korea in July 1950. His remains were found in August 1951, but were only recently identified using modern forensic technology.
Weber was notified in September that her brother would soon return.
“Saturday will be his final rest,” Weber said. “This event has restored my faith in our country. So many don’t really care but when things like this happen and you know the army has spent all these years looking for him, it’s a glorious feeling.”
A service at the Leominster Veterans Center is scheduled for Thursday. A public wake will be held Friday at Leominster City Hall and a full military funeral will be held at St. Cecilia’s Church on Saturday.
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