ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- It will be a Memorial Day to remember for one St. Louis family as a fallen marine killed in the South Pacific more than 70 years ago will finally be coming home.
"This was a very emotional sequence of things," Warren Hayden said.
Hayden was born 13 years after his brother Harold had died and grew up knowing only little about him.
"I never knew Harold his picture was always displayed in my parents bedroom and so it was kind of a mystery person to me for years," Hayden said.
Harold died in the Battle of Tarawa in the South Pacific in 1943. A non-profit called History Flight provided a video showing unidentified service members being brought from Tarawa to Hawaii last year. In March of this year, one of those fallen marines was identified as Harold Hayden.
Members of the non-profit were able to connect Hayden with someone who served with Harold and knew him well.
"He was dead 13 years before I was born so I had no relationship. Wendell is the only person alive that's had a relationship with my brother," Hayden said. "He would be 95 today so it's an incredible story in those terms."
More than 70 years after giving his life for his country, Harold's remains will eventually be escorted from Hawaii to his final resting place.
And it will be a very personal escort.
"This whole circle will end with my son who is a marine bringing his uncle home from Hawaii where he is currently at and he will be buried in Arlington," Hayden said.
Hayden said his brother's remains will be brought to Arlington National Cemetery once travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are eased up.