ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The remains of a Minnesota sailor who died at Pearl Harbor are finally home.
Fireman 3rd class Kenneth Holm of Clarkfield, Minnesota was on board the battleship USS Oklahoma when Japanese torpedo bombers skimmed the surface of Pearl Harbor.
Only recently did DNA testing confirm his remains.
Wednesday, Holm was laid to rest at Fort Snelling Cemetery with full military honors.
"It's lifted that burden,” said Blair Holm, Kenneth Holm’s nephew. “Now, he's been identified and he's home."
429 sailors and marines lost their lives on the Oklahoma.
Many, including Holm, were never identified, and buried in a Hawaiian cemetery.
"I was always curious because his picture was on the wall, his Purple Heart was on the wall and I wanted to know who he was," said Janice Walker, Kenneth Holm's niece.
Several years ago, his family submitted DNA samples to the Defense Department. Then a day before the 75th anniversary of surprise attack, they received another surprise.
"And I got the call from the Navy on December the 6 last year, saying that they had identified his remains,” said Blair Holm. “Fortunately I was sitting down, otherwise I think I would have fallen down. It was just exhilarating to know that."
On Wednesday, Blair Holm, a Marine himself, stood next to his uncle's remains with a newly signed proclamation from Governor Mark Dayton.
"I'm still exhilarated about the whole thing, even though it's sad, it's exhilarating," said Blair Holm.
Kenneth Holm is now the third Minnesotan from the USS Oklahoma to be identified through DNA testing and reburied in their home state. Those interred at Fort Snelling will have a prominent final resting place. Directors are interring them at the very spot where the cemetery conducts its Memorial Day services.