WWII hero's dog tags return home after 64 years

The family of a soldier who died in World War II has been reunited with their loved one through what they say is the only tangible reminder of him ? his dog tags. The unexpected reunion was the result

News 12 Staff

May 26, 2008, 10:35 PM

Updated 5,897 days ago

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The family of a soldier who died in World War II has been reunited with their loved one through what they say is the only tangible reminder of him ? his dog tags.
The unexpected reunion was the result of a chance meeting at Bernard James Ray?s gravesite at the Long Island National Cemetery. Ray died sacrificing his own life for his platoon, his family says.
Cousin Louis DiLeo was visiting Ray?s grave on May 16 when he saw a group of men in front of the tombstone. The men had been looking for Ray?s family for months, DiLeo says. They were in possession of Ray?s dog tags, which had been buried in a forest in Germany since the war.
A ceremony was held in Ray?s hometown of Baldwin Monday to present his remaining relatives with the tags. Ray had been memorialized through monuments and medals. However, his relatives say they were left with only their memories before they received the dog tags.
?We have the medal, but we have nothing personal of his. The fact that this was around his neck the day that he earned that medal was just something I couldn't believe was happening,? DiLeo says.
Ray was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.


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