Army Cpl. Charles Lawler Laid to Rest in Traverse City Nearly 70 Years After Death

“It hits the heart. It hits the community hard.”

A hero was finally laid to rest Saturday in Northern Michigan. And it’s nearly 70 years after his death. Charles Lawler of Traverse City fought in the Korean War.

His unit was attacked in 1950.

Lawler’s body, along with thousands of others, was never found until last year.

That’s when North Korea gave the U.S. 55 boxes with the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War.

It’s a day this family’s been waiting for nearly seven decades.

Charles Lawler, who was assumed dead 69 years ago was positively identified this May.

“She was sitting at home and she got the phone call that his remains were found and she was super happy,” says Charles’ niece, Diana Reece.

A family’s veteran and loved one, finally laid to rest.

“You know, the whole family, we weren’t expecting it, but we were extremely happy, grateful,” Reece said.

And Saturday the community showed its support.

“And I didn’t think there would be that many people because it’s been so long. Like no one really knew him,” says Betty Wagner, wife of Charles’ great-nephew.

A patriotic spirit was very strong in the Oakland Cemetery.

“Just goes to show you that you know our country, or the people who live in this country that fought in the war, take care of their own. You know so much respect and he deserves it,” says Reece.

Joyce Tkach was one of those people who came to honor Army Corporal Charles Lawler.

“I think it’s very important to support the family and to show every generation that you’re proud. You need to take ownership of the country you live in and the people who help get you where you are,” Tkach said.

Diana Reece says the support is more than she imagined.

“My mom is really happy. More than anything she wanted him to be buried next to my grandmother. I’m thankful for our President Trump for making all this happen,” she said.