Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
Community honors region male who died at Pearl Harbor
By Sydney Albert
COLDWATER – On a working day when lots of remembered close friends and family customers who never built it house, the household of Robert E. Bailey had a bittersweet homecoming of their possess.
Bailey’s surviving family eventually noticed the previous Navy Shipfitter’s continues to be returned soon after nearly 80 many years, burying him on Memorial Working day beside his brother and dad and mom, whose shared tombstone continue to bears the title of the son they experienced misplaced.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Bailey, formerly of Coldwater, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. In accordance to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the battleship was struck by multiple torpedoes, which triggered the vessel to immediately capsize. Bailey and 428 other crewmen had been killed.
Since his remains could not be recognized at the time, Bailey was detailed as “lacking,” and like several others who ended up killed in the course of the sinking of the USS Oklahoma, his remains have been buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. In Oct 1949, the American Graves Registration Assistance ruled Bailey, along with others who had yet to be determined, as unrecoverable.
However time marched on, Bailey’s household never forgot about him, and with improvements in forensic know-how and DNA tests, Bailey’s stays at last were accounted for on Jan. 19, 2021.
“Eighty yrs back Robert was known as property to heaven to be with the Lord, but this loved ones has been remaining with an empty grave. A missing location in the family members,” Rev. Matt Overman mentioned during the funeral services Monday. “They have heard stories all of their lifestyle about their uncle, but currently we collect to celebrate that Robert Edward Bailey’s earthly remains have appear dwelling. No lengthier is the grave vacant. No longer is there a comma, but a time period. The unfamiliar is now identified. The electric power of science, medication and religion have labored alongside one another to determine earthly human continues to be so that forevermore, this loved ones will know their beloved one particular is property.”
When individuals stay their life in support to other individuals, as Bailey did, then dying is not in vain, Overman continued.
“Nowadays is a diverse celebration,” he explained. “These days we grieve the reduction of a 21-year-previous gentleman, killed all through a surprise attack 80 years in the past, but we also rejoice the point that just after 80 yrs, he is ultimately identified and again house. We obtain to say thank you, Robert, for your sacrifice and your service. We assemble to pledge to keep on to live out your illustration of assistance and sacrifice and to know that in God’s really like we will see you again experience-to-experience to hear your tales and to have the capacity to say thank you.”
The Coldwater Veterans of Overseas War Submit 5135 in Coldwater, which was afterwards co-named just after Bailey and First Lieutenant Luke Schockman, also of Coldwater, hosted his funeral provider. Members of the community were invited to attend and honor Bailey as his physique was transported from Cisco Funeral Dwelling to the Coldwater VFW, and then to Swamp Higher education Cemetery in Celina.
Nearby veterans and families alongside the route of Bailey’s funeral procession showed their respect for the 1st Mercer County resident killed in Globe War II by keeping flags or solemnly keeping their hands over their hearts as the procession handed, escorted by Mercer County Sheriff’s deputies and the Coldwater Fire Section. Some others held huge indications honoring U.S. veterans. A line of motorcycles joined the procession, as very well.
As Bailey was committed to the ground, those in attendance prayed – not just for Bailey, but for all those people with an individual to mourn and bear in mind on Memorial Working day.
Bailey’s sacrifice was never forgotten – and in the terms of some of individuals who honored him Monday, it never ever would be.