Boyle Heights Memorial Day ceremony honors WWII vet after remains discovered nearly 80 years later

Private Jacob Cruz's remains made it back home to Boyle Heights nearly eight decades later.

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Friday, November 12, 2021
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The 74th annual Memorial Day ceremony at Cinco Puntos in Boyle Heights honored the lives of our fallen heroes.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Military service members and veterans witnessed a flyover by Los Angeles police, a 21-gun salute, and a presentation of wreaths and recognitions in honor of our fallen heroes on Monday at a Memorial Day ceremony.

It all started on Sunday with a 24-hour vigil at the Mexican American All Wars Memorial in Boyle Heights.

"We have more folks who have served and more people than ever have given their lives from Los Angeles than any other cities, especially in recent wars," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was among the many government officials who spoke at the ceremony.

The monument at Los Cinco Puntos is in memory of heroes of Mexican descent who gave their lives in World World II.

The family of Private Jacob Cruz attended. Cruz was a World War II veteran who made his final journey home to Boyle Heights this year after his remains were discovered by archaeologists more than 70 years later.

MORE: Procession across LA honors WWII vet after archaeologists discover his remains over 70 years later

"I still can't believe that he's home now," said Ruth Soto, Cruz's sister.

Private Cruz was among the many men and women who were honored at the ceremony. U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez's office presented Private Cruz's family with a recognition certificate and a flag flown over the capitol.

"We are so grateful to the marines, archeologists and to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible for him to come home," said Milca Wagner, Cruz's niece. "Thank God for closure for my mom that she was able to lay her brother to rest after so many years."

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