The remains of an East Tennessee World War II veteran who was missing in action for almost 70 years are making their way back to his only son.
For 69 years, Johnson City native William Harris has had to rely on pictures and stories to tell the tale of his father, Army Private First Class Cecil Edwin Harris. The elder Harris was declared missing in action after a mortar hit his platoon in 1945 when William was just four months old.
William had given up on finding his remains until he got a call in November. It turns out a group of hikers found a makeshift grave in France, with the initial 'H'. DNA testing confirmed it was Cecil Harris.
"You're kind of relieved, kind of shocked, and really tickled that you're going to get to bring your dad home and bury him like he deserved," said William. "Never give up hope because it happened to me they found my dad and maybe they would find their loved ones that they have missing in war."
William says his father will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. on October 22nd. He says it's a fitting spot for his dad to be honored like the hero he is.