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Sgt. Dominick Licari laid to rest with full military honors
FRANKFORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - Sgt. Dominick Licari was laid to rest Tuesday morning with full military honors.
Licari's plane vanished in 1944 during WWII after bombing enemy targets in New Guinea. As days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, and months turned to decades, Licari's family went from hoping he'd be found alive, to expecting he might be found alive, but injured, to realizing they'd probably never see him again.
"Then all of a sudden there's the shock when you're told that he's been found and identified, it's like he died for you that day again," says Sgt. Licari's younger brother, August "Mort" Licari.
The Licari family just received word four weeks ago that a recovery crew found their brother and uncle's remains and dog tags while excavating a plane crash site in New Guinea.
"He's home and we're very pleased about that," said the younger Licari.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Dominick Licari was laid to rest in the family plot in Frankfort with full military honors. A military honor guard marched with the hearse from the Iacovissi Funeral Home to the church on S Frankfort Street. The guard carried Licari's casket up church steps lined by Patriot Guard members holding flags on each side. At the graveside service, "Taps" was played and a gun salute given in honor of Sgt. Licari. His family was presented with American Flags from a grateful nation. All these tributes were witnessed not only by Licari's siblings, nieces and nephews but by dozens of grateful strangers, as well.
"Hollywood couldn't have scripted more. I was blown out of my socks" said the war hero's brother.
"To witness the reception here in the entire valley, not Frankfort Village alone but the entire valley, has just amazed us and we couldn't thank everyone enough, but I want everyone to know that we really appreciate the warm reception that he has received."
The younger Licari says that tomorrow, the family will board planes back to their own current hometowns and go back to the business of daily life, but without the heavy question mark that's been hanging over their heads for the past 70 years.
"We're just now at a point we can relax and say 'ok, brother, you're home. Welcome home'" said August "Mort" Licari.