SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — A World War II veteran from Springfield was finally laid to rest Saturday, 73 years after his death.
Staff Sergeant Michael Aiello was killed during combat in 1944.
His unidentified remains were buried in a military cemetery in Belgium.
On Saturday, a funeral procession was held in his honor.
It started at Staab Funeral Home and ended at Camp Butler.
“It’s just a great way to be out here, to find him, bring him home and honor him the way Springfield can,” said Commander Gael Kent, with Inter-Veterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County.
Eight years ago, the government told Aiello’s family they were beginning DNA tests on unidentified soldiers.
His family said they were filled with doubt their hero would return home.
“It was just a shock to the family, it was just incredible,” said Brian Aiello, great-grandnephew.
Brian Aiello said the day was one of the mixed emotions.
“The sad thing is that we've had so many older relatives pass away the last 15 to 20 years. We wanted them to be here for this moment, so that's a bittersweet moment, but it's nice that he's at least home now," said Brian Aiello.
Staff Sergeant Michael Aiello was buried following the procession.
His family said they are pleased to see the beloved soldier finally able to rest in peace.