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Old 12-16-2015, 11:39 AM
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Thumbs up USS Oklahoma Disinterments Completed

Link: http://www.dpaa.mil/NewsStories/Rece...-complete.aspx


Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Fulfilling Our Nation's Promise

USS Oklahoma Disinterments Complete
By SSgt Kathrine Dodd | Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency | November 10, 2015
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U.S. service members from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) participate in a disinterment ceremony, Nov. 9, 2015, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. DPAA holds these ceremonies to give honor and respect to our nation's unidentified dead before they are moved to the DPAA Lab for identification. The remains being disinterred are unknowns from the USS Oklahoma, lost from the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. These are the last of the USS Oklahoma to be disinterred. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

U.S. service members from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) participate in a disinterment ceremony, Nov. 9, 2015, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. DPAA holds these ceremonies to give honor and respect to our nation's unidentified dead before they are moved to the DPAA Lab for identification. The remains being disinterred are unknowns from the USS Oklahoma, lost from the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. These are the last of the USS Oklahoma to be disinterred. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (DOD photo by Spc Crystal D. Madriz/Released) (Photo by Spc. Crystal Madriz)

U.S. service members from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) participate in a disinterment ceremony, Nov. 9, 2015, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. DPAA holds these ceremonies to give honor and respect to our nation's unidentified dead before they are moved to the DPAA Lab for identification. The remains being disinterred are unknowns from the USS Oklahoma, lost from the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. These are the last of the USS Oklahoma to be disinterred. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

U.S. service members from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) participate in a disinterment ceremony, Nov. 9, 2015, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. DPAA holds these ceremonies to give honor and respect to our nation's unidentified dead before they are moved to the DPAA Lab for identification. The remains being disinterred are unknowns from the USS Oklahoma, lost from the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. These are the last of the USS Oklahoma to be disinterred. The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (DOD photo by Spc. Crystal D. Madriz) (Photo by Spc. Crystal Madriz)

Members of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) march alongside a disinterred casket holding the remains of unknown USS Oklahoma service members during a disinterment ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Nov. 5, 2015. Today’s ceremony was the final disinterment for the USS Oklahoma. The DPAA mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. La'Shanette Garrett/Released)

Members of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) march alongside a disinterred casket holding the remains of unknown USS Oklahoma service members during a disinterment ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Nov. 5, 2015. Today’s ceremony was the final disinterment for the USS Oklahoma. The DPAA mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. La'Shanette Garrett/Released) (Photo by SSgt La'Shanette Garrett)

Nov. 9, 2015 --
Under a serene morning sky, save a low, solemn cadence, honor guardsmen assigned from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) escort the last 4 caskets containing the remains of unidentified service members lost on the USS Oklahoma to loading trucks from their plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP).

The initiative to disinter these 61 caskets began five months ago, after the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert O. Work, released a memo allowing the Department of Defense to include remains commingled during the salvage operations of the USS Oklahoma in its identification efforts. Over the last six months DPAA, with the help of the Department of Veteran Affairs, exhumed the remains of up to 388 Service members from 45 graves at the NMCP.

After the remains are verified and accessioned into the DPAA Laboratory, the identification process begins.

“[The] identifications of the dental remains will be completed in Hawaii first,” said Ben Soria, the lead evidence coordinator at the DPAA Lab.

According to Soria, the re-sorting and processing of the post-cranial remains will be performed at the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha. Forensic scientists there will also organize the remains into individuals using anthropological and DNA analysis.

DPAA, in concert with the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, will use DNA samples donated by applicable family members, as well as medical and dental records, in the identification process. The agency estimates that 80 percent of the unknown remains associated with the USS Oklahoma can be identified within five years.

More than 70 years have passed since the USS Oklahoma capsized in defense of Pearl Harbor. With new technologies and advances in forensic science now available, DPAA will be able to put names to those previously buried as unknown, something long owed to those who fell. Those remains that still cannot be identified will be reinterred in a known group burial in Arlington National Cemetery, the NMCP, or another as of yet unknown course of action may be taken.

“As important as it is to return the fallen to their families, it’s equally if not more important to the nation,” said Brigadier General Mark Spindler, DPAA deputy director. “This is our sacred promise that we make to our sons and daughters when we put them in harm’s way and ask them to do the most difficult tasks around.”

“We must work as hard as we can to restore their names,” Spindler continued. “Right now they remain nameless out there, but what we do when we fulfill the nation’s promise is restore the name; give the name back to the nation and give it back to their family.”

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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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