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Brothers killed at Pearl Harbor are finally buried with military honors

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 5:33 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Eighty years after they were killed at Pearl Harbor, brothers who paid the ultimate price were honored by the U.S. Navy with a dignified burial.

Harold and William Trapp served aboard the USS Oklahoma. They died when it was torpedoed and capsized.

“We know that indeed these are the brothers who sacrificed for our country, who stood tall and made a difference,” Navy Chaplain Randal Potter said.

The Trapps were from Indiana. They enlisted together in 1939. On December 7, 1941, they were among 429 sailors who died aboard the battleship.

The memorial ceremony was their family’s answer to a patient prayer.

“More than anything I wish my mother was here. She’s not. I am grateful that I can fulfill what would have been her greatest desire,” said their niece, Carol Sowar.

For decades, the Trapps remains lay in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, but in graves marked Unknown.

Last year, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified them.

“We were so hopeful that they would just identify one of them. And they identified both of them,” their great-nephew David Sowar said.

“I’m grateful for the DPAA for following up on this because I don’t know if they know how important it is to us, or maybe they do,” Carol Sowar said.

The Trapp’s relatives were surprised so many attended the ceremony that was complete with full military honors.

“From 1941 until today, Lord, we have awaited such a great moment as this,” Potter prayed as he stood before their flag-draped caskets.

Each of brothers received a gun salute and the playing of Taps.

“They’re coming home with respect and dignity, and the kind of ceremony that they deserve,” Carol Sowar said.

The Trapp brothers finally have a resting place with graves and granite markers in Section Q of the cemetery.

“I will visit them often,” David Sowar said.

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