Hope comes as soldier is identifiedUPDATED 6:54 PM HST Mar 25, 2014Video Transcript
Tonight, an emotional alliance between a Pearl Harbor survivor and a relative of one man who died the day the Japanese attacked. They're unified in a mission... To put names to the fallen American heroes... Identify their remains, and, if their families want, send them home. KITV4's Ann Sterling highlights the struggles to give victims families the closure they still crave... A GRAVESTONE DECORADED WITH THE STARS AND STRIPES. WE KNOW WHAT THEY FOUGHT FOR... BUT LIKE SO MANY HEROES BURIED AT THE NATIONAL MEMEMORIAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC, WE DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE. THERE'S A GROWING CRY... TO FIND OUT! 17.01.56 PEGGY PHONER TAPE when a man gives his life for his country it's no small thing. each one is so important. PEGGY GERMAIN'S UNCLE-- GERALD LEHMAN -- WAS ONCE ONE OF PUNCHBOWL'S UNKOWNS. HE DIED ON "THE USS OKLAHOMA" THE DAY PEARL HARBOR WAS ATTACKED... BEFORE PEGGY WAS BORN. STILL, SHE PROMISED HER MOTHER ... SHE WOULD BRING HIM HOME. HER BIGGEST ALLY ... RAY EMORY. 52.37 PEGGY PHONER TAPE he realized that there were unknowns .... that are known. EMORY SURVIVED PEARL HARBOR, THEN PAINSTAKINGLY SET OUT TO IDENTIFY THE FALLEN. STACKS OF PAPERWORK, COUNTLESS HOURS... AND NOW.. BREAKTHROU GHS. AMONG THE THREE PEOPLE HE HELPED IDENTIFY: PEGGY'S UNCLE. SHE STILL REMEMBERS THE MOMENT SHE GOT THE CALL 57.15 PEGGY PHONER TAPE I remember I dropped the phone and ran upstairs to tell my husband. It was unbelievable. It was a moment I hoped for dreamed for and wanted to honor my mother. 1.37.28 all these families received letters the bodies were never recovered. the bodies were recovered. 1.43.01 you have as many as 22 in one grave off the oklahoma. LAST MONTH 15 U-S SENAORS SENT A LETTER TO DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL.... URGING HIM TO ORDER THE JPAC LAB TO EXHUME THE CASKETS.... AND I/D THE REST OF THE REMAINS. 3.26 PEGGY PHONER TAPE the families will never give up. They need to get their loved ones back. 17.45 PEGGY PHONER TAPE they should not be able to start a new war until they bury all the dead from the old war. ANN STERLING KITV 4 NEWS Peggy's uncle is now buried in Michigan next to his mother and his sister. Next week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will be here in Hawaii. KITV4 has a request in to talk to Secretary Hagel about the process of identifying Punchbowl's unknowns.