KINGSTON, Tenn. — Before William Delaney was a United States Army Private First Class, he was Frankie Copeland's uncle.
"My Uncle Frank, he was a farmer and he got drafted in 1942," she said.
Delaney went off to fight in World War II and died while stationed in Germany. He was only 24 years old.
"We've always had a lot of respect for the soldier," Copeland said.
However, it would be more than seven decades before Delaney's remains would return to his hometown of Kingston and Copeland would help make that happen.
"Seventy-five years later, my DNA is what identified his remains," she said.
But the weekend would also prove a momentous time for her family. After Delaney's remains were returned, Governor Bill Lee declared Sunday, May 26, a day of mourning from sunrise to sunset.
"You know that means a great deal for us," she said. "That we are grateful for."
On Memorial Day, the Delaney family will make their way to Kingston to finally lay Uncle Frank to rest.
"It's closure for our family, it really is closure," she said.
The family will bury him in the same cemetery as his parents, but Copeland said his memory won't end there.
"The generation he grew up with they are all dead but for the generation moving forward this is quite an honor for us to have from him," she said
It is a story she hopes will help those still searching for their own loved ones. This Memorial Day she'll be thinking of her Uncle Frank and the service men and women who gave their lives around the world
"The freedom we enjoy today is due to men and women who fight for our freedom and it's wonderful they do that," she said.