With a flag-bearing honor guard of veterans, soldiers and Boy Scouts, the body of a Korean war veteran whose remains were returned home earlier in the week was laid to rest Thursday next to the graves of his three brothers.
The somber scene unfolded at San Burno’s Golden Gate National Cemetery where the family of Army Sgt. First Class Joseph David Steinberg finally got closure following his death in Korean prison of war camp in 1951 and the years of trying to locate his remains.
He was buried alongside his beloved brothers Charles, Jack and William who were all also veterans.
Steinberg, who was awarded medals for bravery in both World War II and Korea, was captured and taken prisoner after the Chinese Army attacked U.S. troops near Hoengsong, South Korea in February 1951.
He died in the POW camp in 1951 of malnutrition and exposure. His remains were only recently identified by DNA. However, the process of making a positive identification took several years.
“It was eight years ago that they asked my father and my aunt for their DNA,” said Steinberg’s great niece Shannon Sullivan, who greeted the coffin carrying Steinberg’s remains at San Jose Mineta International Airport on Monday. “They didn’t hear from the government for eight years so when they did get the call back in May, they were stunned…They were in total shock “
Sullivan said the family – which never gave up hope of finding her uncle’s remains – was grateful for all the effort the government made.
“It’s been a great effort by our government to find people who have been lost like this,” she said. “They are not forgotten in our hearts. “
Steinberg’s coffin was greeted by tears, bagpipes and a motorcycle honor guard of war vets at the airport.
Sullivan said family members gathered from around the country for the memorial service.
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