DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - On a cold January day in Poland, an American was buried on Nazi soil, guarded by his comrades.
74 years to the day, that same man, Lt. Ewart Sconiers, was buried on U.S. soil.
For the woman who spearheaded Sconiers' homecoming, she never thought this day would come.
"Certainly for our family, it means closure, said Pamela Sconiers-Whitelock, Sconiers' niece. "And to those who loved him most, if they were here they would say it's a true end to a nightmare that they lived for so many years."
Sconiers was a bombardier shot down by the Nazis and held in the POW Camp, Stalag Luft III. He died and was buried in German-occupied Poland. But the mystery of his remains wasn't solved until 2016, after his grave had been spotted in a photo from billiongraves.com.
Today, the community came together to pay their tributes to this war hero, with full military honors.
Also invited to the funeral were the Promise Keepers, nicknamed “Ewart's Army.” That was a group of volunteers who came together over the years to help bring his remains home to Defuniak Springs.
"It speaks to a promise that our military makes to our military personnel and their families, and a promise kept," Sconiers-Whitelock said.
And to honorably finish his story, the decedents of those in the original burial photo, stood alongside Sconiers, who had finally made his way home.