World War II Marine laid to rest in Liberty

LIBERTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A Mississippi family was finally able to lay to rest the remains of a Marine who gave his life in World War II.

Governor Bryant was at the funeral Monday in Liberty, honoring the man who died 73 years ago.

The governor shared this video from the service.

Private First Class James Samuel Smith went to war at the age of 18, and less than two years later, he was killed in battle.

In 2012, Smith’s remains were found buried in the South Pacific Gilbert Islands.

The Marine Corps identified Smith by matching his remains with his nephew’s DNA.

On Sunday, October 16, 2016, those remains made it home to Mississippi.

“The grandparents, they worried, they never knew. I got more information now than they ever had until they died,” said Carey Smith, a nephew of Private First Class James Samuel Smith. “It’s heartbreaking and joyful at the same time.”

Carey Smith tells us he was born around the time his uncle died in the war.

He is happy to have a sense of closure with his death.

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