CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Friends and family on Saturday remembered a Colorado hero who had been missing for more than 60 years.
Sgt. Floyd Jackson from Littleton was just 19 when he served on the front lines during the Korean War. He died in a prison camp after being captured by enemy forces. His family had tried for years to locate his body, and had almost given up hope.
Finally, in January, his remains were identified.
On Thursday his family traveled to Denver International Airport to receive his coffin. Saturday morning Jackson was laid to rest with full military honors next to his mother at Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery in Centennial.
Jackson’s niece, Joann Mueller, says she never thought this day would come.
“This is such a miracle that he’s home … we’re going to celebrate,” Mueller said.
Jackson was captured in December of 1950. A few weeks later he died in a prison camp where conditions were horrible and diseases were common. The location of his remains had been a mystery for six decades.
Recently Korea turned over more unidentified remains. In January, Army forensics experts, using DNA from Jackson’s family members, finally identified the missing sergeant.
“He’s finally here, and right where he is supposed to be,” Mueller said.
A horse-drawn carriage brought Jackson to his final resting place. Patriot Guards, Boy Scouts, and former military members paid their respects.
As veterans saluted the return of an American hero, Jackson’s family had a message for the young man who gave his life for his country long ago on a battlefield far from home.
“I love you very much. I’m so glad you’re home,” Mueller said.