Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
CAMP WILLIAMS -- A Utah family finally received military honors for their war hero Tuesday, nearly six decades overdue. The World War II and Korean War veteran now has a permanent place of respect at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery next to Camp Williams.
Master Sgt. Edward William Hereth never came home from the Korean War. On November 30, 1950, he went Missing in Action in Northern Korea, and three years later was listed as Presumed Dead.
His remains were never found, and his family never got to bury him or pay their respects. But on Tuesday, family, friends and veterans held a remembrance ceremony where they presented Hereth's widow with a folded American flag and played taps for the soldier.
Hereth's son Rick was only 5 years old when his dad went missing, but the memory of his father was always with him.
"I felt like I'd been robbed not to be able to grow up and get to know him. It's always been in my mind that this would be an opportunity to be with him again," Rick said. "If this would have happened when I was 5 or 6 years old, it would not have had nearly the meaning as it has now."
Upon hearing Hereth's story back on Father's Day, veterans Jerry Bishop and Gary Campbell worked with VFW Post 4918 of American Fork to organize the ceremony. As Campbell put it, it's something that should have been done years ago but simply fell through the cracks.
In the months ahead, Master Sgt. Hereth will receive a headstone in the Veterans Cemetery, an important remembrance for the entire family.
"I loved him very much and know that he loved me," Sestia said.
Hereth was previously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. During Tuesday's ceremony, he also received his 21 gun salute.