Military Funeral Marks ‘Completion of a Journey’ For Utah Family, Marine Killed At Pearl Harbor

Aug 20, 2018, 11:08 PM | Updated: Aug 21, 2018, 1:17 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A family finally received Monday what it had been seeking for nearly 77 years – full military honors and a proper burial for their Marine killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Private First Class Robert Holmes was presumed killed after the USS Oklahoma capsized on Dec. 7, 1941, but it wasn’t until May that the U.S. Marine Corps verified the death through a relative’s DNA test.

Monday morning, dozens of family, friends and others gathered at Salt Lake City Cemetery to pay their respects at a military service.

“We’ve all been waiting for something like this,” said Holmes nephew, also named Robert Holmes. “We think his dad – ‘grandpa,’ my dad – his brother are all just happy as anything that we’ve done this.”

For decades, what happened to the Marine was something of an unanswered question, but the military was able to identify several bones belonging to Holmes after his nephew Bruce Holmes submitted his DNA.

It took a little over a year before scientists came back and said they had a match, family members said.

Last month, officials from the Marine Corps traveled to Utah to brief the family and present them with a packet on their loved one that included a diagram of the precise bones identified.

The Holmes family said it was told the Marine likely drowned.

Holmes was remembered Monday as an expert marksman.

His nephew also disclosed that Holmes was engaged to be married.

“About 388 of the deaths on the Oklahoma were still unidentified as of a year ago,” the nephew said. “Only 70 have been sent home to family or reburied with proper markers. It’s an amazing thing – yeah we are, we’re very fortunate.”

The nephew said he didn’t believe in the word “closure,” but instead viewed Monday’s funeral as the “completion of a journey.”

“We just completed our quest,” he said. “That’s all I can say about that one.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Orem Mayor David Young was ordered by an Alabama court to pay more than $1 million in a civil judgm...
Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com

Judge calls Orem mayor ‘lynchpin’ in fraud case, orders him and son to pay $1M

Orem Mayor David Young and his son have been ordered by an Alabama judge to pay $1 million in a fraudulent loans case. The judge called the Utah mayor "a lynchpin to this fraud."
14 hours ago
Ayanna Likens

Taking the stigma out of weight loss surgery

For some people, diet and lifestyle changes aren't enough to lose weight. On the advice of their doctor, bariatric surgery may be an option.
14 hours ago
More than 5,000 collisions between cars and animals have been reported so far in 2022. Experts say ...
Larry D. Curtis

New Utah roadkill app hopes to improve human and animal roadway safety

So far this year over 5,000 cars have collided with Utah wildlife. Oh deer.
14 hours ago
Ann and Russell Gleave...
Peter Rosen

Losing weight: Setting the wheels in motion

When it comes to shedding pounds, it’s not just about the patient. It’s usually a family affair.
14 hours ago
People shop at the Newport Mall during Black Friday on November 25, 2022 in Jersey City, New Jersey...
Tamara Vaifanua

Utah woman shares tips on how to save this holiday season

Holiday shopping won't be slowing down in the next few weeks. A Utah Instagram influencer and TikToker has some tips to help us "save more and worry less."
14 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua

SafeUT exchanges more than 1 million messages, conducts 349 life-saving interventions

Those who are responsible for the SafeUT app are celebrating what they call a “milestone. Over a 12-month period, over one million messages were exchanged between SafeUT counselors and people needing help.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Military Funeral Marks ‘Completion of a Journey’ For Utah Family, Marine Killed At Pearl Harbor