HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - Many people lined the streets in Harrisburg, Illinois on Thursday, July 27 to honor the life of a fallen hero.
People came out to pay their respects to a soldier killed 66 years ago in the Korean War.
A procession from the St. Louis airport brought the body of Army Reserve Corporal Edward Lee Borders to Weirauch Funeral Home in Harrisburg on Thursday, July 27.
Borders was declared dead in 1954 after being listed as missing in action in Korea on February 13, 1951. The communist forces later reported he died in a POW camp on December 26, 1951.
When he was declared dead, the family bought a plot in hopes of him one day returning home. He could have been buried at the National Cemetery, but the family chose to bring him home.
He had two brothers who also enlisted in the military. In order to identify him, they used the DNA from his middle brother, Rober Borders.
The niece of Cpl. Borders, born around that time period, talked about the family's emotions now.
"I think it's bittersweet, but we are just so glad to know that they didn't give up and that he is coming home in the place that my grandfather wanted to be," Phyllis Walker said. "It's just such an honor and I'm just touched by all of it, that they didn't give up."
Cpl. Borders' nephew is named Edward and so is his son and his grandson, so his name and legacy will be carried on.
Commander Sgt. Major Hankins arrived in Korea only a few months after they declared Cpl. Borders missing in action.
"This is one cumulation of a lot of things that brings another brother home and identified and gets him back to his relatives so he can be buried in a family cemetery and finally conclude a tremendously tragic event for the family," Hankins said.
He said he didn't know Cpl. Borders but they were both with the 2nd Infantry Division.
His funeral is set for Saturday, July 29. He will be buried in Cottage Grove Cemetery.
Thursday also marked the 64th anniversary of the armistice which ended hostilities on the Peninsula in 1953. President Trump proclaimed July 27, 2017, as National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day.