Nebraska WWII sailor laid to rest in Hawaii after 70 years of being unidentified
Schmidt says the Hawaii memorial was the answer everyone was waiting for.
“To be able to see how they did all of this stuff and who’s doing it,” said Schmidt. “It was a phenomenal trip.”
The final goodbye for a Nebraska sailor who was missing for more than 70 years, one of those sailors was fireman first class Grant Cook Jr. from Cozad.
Schmidt says Offutt Air Force base identified Cook’s remains last year; he was one of 429 sailors and marines on the U.S.S. Oklahoma in Peal Harbor. This service was one Schmidt says he didn’t want to miss.
“We just knew at that time that we needed to have someone out there with whatever service and wherever that was going to be. We needed to have someone there for it.”
After the memorial, the family was gifted with a U.S.A. flag to remember Cook.
“They presented it to the family and then following the service,” said Schmidt. “She (Cook’s sister) asked me to bring it back to Cozad with us.”
The memorial, the flag and the closure were all something Schmidt says the sailor’s family finally has.
“For families that had blocked it off in their mind because it was something they just didn’t want to think about but then after they got the fact that the remains were identified, it helped them that they can feel like they’re home
Schmidt says there is an entire memorial for Pearl Harbor, including a marble column Grant Cook Jr. in his name.