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Sailor killed in Pearl Harbor attack is laid to rest in San Diego

Jesus Garcia, who was born in Guam, died at the age of 19 when the ship he was aboard capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 80 years ago.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A Navy veteran, who died in the Pearl Harbor attack, has been laid to rest in San Diego. Jesus Garcia received full military honors at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Wednesday.

“The magnitude is huge, and it’s getting official closure for our family too,” said Jesus's nephew, Sonny Garcia.

While taps was played for the fallen hero, the American flag was folded 13 times over his casket, and given to his nephew.

Jesus Garcia, who was born in Guam, died at the age of 19 when the ship he was aboard capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 80 years ago. 

Scientists were able to identify his remains just a few years ago.

“We are truly, truly grateful to the United States Navy for never giving up,” said Sonny Garcia.

The family was notified by the Navy in 2019, but due to the pandemic, the funeral services were delayed.

“This is overwhelming,” said Jesus's niece Raynette Castillo. “We’re just so grateful that the military followed through after all these years. We were able to come together as a family to honor our uncle.”

Sonny shared emotional words at the morning prayer service held at the Santa Sophia Catholic Church in Spring Valley.

“There will be one family, the Garcia family, that will always pay attention to what happened that Sunday,” said Sonny. “We lost our uncle. We will never forget him.”

Ten family members traveled from Texas to be in San Diego for the burial, and for them, it brings meaningful closure.

“To now be able to put him to rest as a family is amazing,” said Raynette.

More than anything, they’re proud of his service and the sacrifice he gave for this country and our freedom.

“I think our family is just filled with gratitude, the whole family, that we’re able to come together and say our final words to him,” said Jesus's niece Anna Pimintel.

Sonny believes that the Fort Rosecrans Cemetery is the perfect setting for his uncle’s burial and final resting place.

“It's poignant because it overlooks San Diego harbor and all the Navy and military vessels,” said Sonny with a grin. “It's a perfect setting for an end to a long journey, for him 80 years, for us a few years, but we did it.”

WATCH RELATED: Sidney Walton, San Diego native and WWII veteran, dies at 102 (October 2021)

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