Recovered remains of Korean War soldier laid to rest on LI
A U.S. soldier who was assumed dead in Korea 63 years ago received a proper burial today on Long Island.
Pvt. Anthony LaRossa was serving in the Army's 2nd Infantry Division in the Korean War when Chinese forces attacked his unit in February of 1951. The 18-year-old from Brooklyn was declared missing in action two days later. As the days and years passed, he was assumed dead although his remains were never found.
His family had all but given up hope on ever learning his fate, but recently, LaRossa's niece, Donna, says the family received a call. They learned LaRossa's remains were among those that had been turned over to the U.S. by North Korea in the 1990s, and his had been recently identified. The family was told that LaRossa's remains were found near a POW camp in North Korea.
Donna LaRossa says the news came a little too late: the private's mother, who kept all of her son's letters, had passed away, and so had most of his immediate family.
A funeral was held today at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. LaRossa's extended family from across Long Island and Pennsylvania came out to remember his legacy.
LaRossa's remains were buried next to his mother, Marie, who died never knowing what happened to her son.
Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed flags to be flown at half-staff at government buildings to honor LaRossa, who he said had "finally come home."