Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Honored Dead Is Laid To Rest

Today my great uncle Kenneth Holm has been laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Despite inclement weather, all of us that showed yesterday returned and another few of my many cousins appeared for this occasion. Another of my cousins couldn't make it, but he did find this press release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which you can read in its entirety here. (Much thanks, Randy.)

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Kenneth L. Holm, 29, of Clarkfield, Minnesota, will be buried August 9 in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. On Dec. 7, 1941, Holm was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Holm.

I am honored to have partaking in a small manner by being one of the eight pallbearers that carried the casket out of its place at the funeral home, then out the door and into the waiting coach just prior to joining the procession out to Fort Snelling. It is the third time I've been a pallbearer, however brief, and each time leaves a mark on me that I cannot forget. However, the biggest surprise of the day came from the office of the Governor. While Mark Dayton could not attend himself, he sent an emissary to attend in his place, and by that proxy delivered the following:

I since learned that there will be a memorial monument to the Oklahoma, and my great uncle's internment place will be there along with the others identified and returned. The reverence, respect, and gratitude displayed and appreciation shown touched me deeply. My thanks to everyone that made this possible.

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