Remains Of American WWII Soldiers From Repatriated From Palau

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Bodies recovered from plane wreck sites in Koror, Aimeliik States

By Peter Erick L. Magbanua

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, May 4, 2015) – As if the weather was one with the event last Saturday as remains of two United States of America soldiers from World War II were repatriated back to their homeland in a ceremony held at the Palau International Airport.

The remains of the two soldiers of the US Airforce were found in the plane wreck sites namely in the waters in front of Ngerkebsang area in Koror and underwater in Aimeliik State.

According to Bureau of Arts and Culture/Historic Preservation Office director Sunny Ngirmang, the project took five-weeks with close coordination between the Bureau of Arts and Culture, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and Bentprop.

"Bentprop is responsible for locating the sites where remains are to be found and the information that comes with the area. Then DPAA comes and does the excavation and recovery of the remains. For these remains that were collected, DNA samples were sent to Hawaii and it was found out that the remains belonged to two US soldiers," Ngirmang explained.

DNA samples were sent to Hawaii, which have sophisticated laboratories such as the Human Identification laboratory that made the proper identification of the remains that were found.

US Ambassador Amy Hyatt declared that the event is in honor of these men for their sacrifice for world peace. The peace and the economic prosperity that we enjoy today, she said, became possible because of the sacrifices of these men.

"In this event may I also extend my sincere gratitude to Palau for allowing your sons and daughters to serve with us preserving peace in the world," Hyatt added. She added that the project has been a major process between the United States of America and Palau. "Thank you all for assisting us in this process."

Present during the event were US Ambassador Amy Hyatt, Aimeliik State Governor Leilani Reklai, Koror State Governor Yoshitaka Adachi, Speaker Sabino Anastacio, Delegate Lucio Ngiraiwet, Senate President Elias Camsek Chin, Senate Vice President Kathy Kesolei, Health Minister Greg Ngirmang, Education Minister Sinton Soalablai, Bureau of Youth, Sports and Recreation director Melson Miko of the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs, US Military Veteran and former BPS director Norvert Yano and Dr. Andrew Pietruszka.

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