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US Navy sailor killed in Pearl Harbor laid to rest with full military honors, 77 years later

The U.S. Navy battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, before she was towed for scrapping. (U.S. Navy/Released)
June 14, 2018

The remains of a U.S. Navy sailor killed almost 77 years ago were finally laid to rest over the weekend in his hometown.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Slapikas was buried with full military honors in Wanamie, roughly 120 miles north of Philadelphia, according to the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

His remains, previously buried in Hawaii, were identified through DNA testing last year.

Slapikas, 26, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.

Thousands of people died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, including 429 crewmen when the USS Oklahoma capsized.

Hundreds of people turned up on Saturday as Slapikas’ remains were transported from Strish Funeral Home to Holy Spirit Parish.

Slapikas was laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery on Saturday morning.

“The support was absolutely fantastic. The memorial service blew me away. I could not get over the people standing on the roadways, waving the American flag, the men and women saluting,” Frank Slapikas, an 80 year-old nephew of Edward Slipikas, told The Citizens’ Voice.

U.S. Navy sailors carried Slapikas’ casket during the service.

“To be a part of this service today is truly quite humbling,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew DeAngelo. “It’s such a unique experience to be a part of. It really pulls at the heartstrings to provide the service for this service member.”