CHESTER, W.Va. (WTRF) – A welcome-home fit for a hero, more than 70-years in the making took place in Chester on Friday.
It’s almost chilling to just think about how great it is to bring this man home.Sergeant Brandon Ashbrook, Army National Guard
The roar of engines and blare of sirens signaled the arrival of an American hero.Jack Newbrough, Upper Ohio Valley American Legion Riders
When one of our fallen in West Virginia is KIA he needs a hero’s welcome home
U.S. Army Air Force 1st Lieutenant Richard W. Horrigan is home.
This man died in action in one of the greatest wars that our country has ever fought in and it’s an absolute honor to be able to bring this man back home.Sergeant Brandon Ashbrook, Army National Guard
Lieutenant Horrigan was a pilot, and was killed flying a reconnaissance mission in Germany in April of 1945. He was 24-years-old.
Circumstances in the years after World War II prevented his remains from being recovered.
Finally, last year, Lieutenant Horrigan was officially identified and his son began making plans to lay him to rest.
We have a very large group of veteran population in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and when stuff like this happens we come together no matter where we’re from and we show up and make sure that he comes home. That was our job today and that’s what we did.Jack Newbrough, Upper Ohio Valley American Legion Riders
Lieutenant Horrigan’s remains landed at the Pittsburgh International airport and where then escorted in a procession to Chester. It was lead by law enforcement from both Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
About 80-riders from the Upper Ohio Valley American Legion Riders, the West Virginia Patriot Guard and Pennsylvania Patriot guard also made sure it was a fitting welcome for a hero.
This is a great honor for this city for the people for the post and I hope it’s a great honor for his son and family that’s coming here to see him buried.John Hissam, Commander, American Legion Post 121
Now the community in Chester gets to pass on their thanks to Lieutenant Horrigan for his sacrifice.
It’s just a great thing and it’s a shame it took 77-years for them to get all this done, but at least he’s coming home now.John Hissam, Commander, American Legion Post 121
Lieutenant Horrigan will be laid to rest on Sunday with a private funeral. However the community does have plans to honor him one last time on the way to his final resting place.