The ride of honor

ALBERT LEA, Minn. –  The body of a WWII veteran was recently discovered in Germany and is now coming home. The Patriot Guard Riders, an organization who make it their mission to honor military heroes, is making sure Lawrence Gordon is properly escorted back to his hometown in Canada.

“My uncle had been a cowboy, and he was great with horses,” says nephew Lawrence Gordon. “ We had a team with a wagon, that the casket was put on, and they took him from the funeral home to the VFW where he was loaded into the van.”

Gordon has many memories of his uncle, but when he went missing during WWII, there were many questions about what had happened to him.

After 69 years of mystery, and some help from independent laboratories, the remains of his uncle, U.S. army PFC Lawrence Gordon, were identified, and this proud nephew, is bringing him home to be buried.

“Today, it’s been another emotion. It’s an adrenaline rush, because we know who it is, we’ve got him in the vehicle, we are getting him home,” said Gordon.

The destination of the burial is a little complicated.  Gordon was a U.S. citizen, but was born in Canada, so that is where he will be buried.  The U.S. military was not able to escort the body through the route, so others are stepping up.  The Patriot Guard Riders are escorting the body through several states, and they are honored to be of service.

“Bringing troops home, bringing them home from deployment, and seeing the joy on the faces of the families is what it’s all about and why we do this.” said Joel Radjenovich, Senior Right Captain with Southern Minnesota.

At a stop at the Freeborn County Veterans Memorial, the pledge of allegiance was recited, speeches were made, all while flags were held high, to honor a man they feel deserves it.

“There are 73,000 MIA’s and we can’t give up. It was 1943 when he got killed, and it’s taken this long to identify him. Families need to know for the sake of their loved ones,” said Radjenovich.

“I think it’s important to anyone that we honor those loses of loved ones during war.  That’s what makes our society different from many others, we value those who have given their lives to support our system,” said Gordon.

Right after the stop in Albert Lea, the Patriot Riders headed to Fairmont, and then to South Dakota.  Gordon will be buried in his hometown in Canada, on the 70th anniversary of his death.

 

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