ARLINGTON, Va. — Nearly 47 years after their plane went down during a combat mission over Laos, six airmen have received a burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
The ceremony that prompted a variety of reactions from the family members who were there to remember their loved ones.
The charred remains of the six airmen — identified not through DNA matches but through dental records, personal items and other circumstantial evidence — were buried in a single casket.
The remains are representative of six Air Force servicemen: Col. Joseph Christiano of Rochester, N.Y.; Col. Derrell B. Jeffords of Florence, S.C.; Lt. Col. Dennis L. Eilers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chief Master Sgt. William K. Colwell of Glen Cove, N.Y.; Chief Master Sgt. Arden K. Hassenger of Lebanon, Ore.; and Chief Master Sgt. Larry C. Thornton of Idaho Falls, Idaho.