Bakersfield, Calif. (KGET) – A first-rate funeral for the local World War II veteran who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in the Pacific Theater 76 years ago.
After a long journey home, the remains of U.S. Marine Private First Class Joseph Robert Livermore’s have finally been laid to rest.
Livermore’s remains arrived at LAX Thursday. The hearse bearing Livermore’s casket was joined by a military escort for the final leg of his final ride home.
Hundreds of Kern County residents lined the streets through along the procession route, ending at Union Cemetery where Private Livermore’s remains were buried this morning.
Livermore was killed during the battle of Tarawa in 1943.
“My grandma got a letter saying ‘hey he’s dead’ and that was it,” said Darell Feliz, Livermore’s nephew.
Feliz says his family wasn’t given any other information about his uncle’s death, until this July when Livermore’s remains were identified in a mass grave.
“They called us and told us they found him and we were all like ‘that’s cool’ and then they sent us some information on him and it kind of triggered a light, so we started looking and the more we wanted to find out, the more we want to know and it just brought my family together,” said Feliz.
Not only the family but also the community. Dozens gathered to pay their respects to Private First Class Livermore one last time before he was laid to rest.
“It’s very honoring to see one of our brothers come home and be laid to rest,” said Ron Baima, Vietnam Veteran.
“It means everything that the family gets to see this because this is the only honor they got for their son or their relative and there’s no greater honor for me to be here to respect the veterans and fallen heroes,” said Daniel Raykeeter, Vietnam Veteran.
A public ceremony was held by city and county officials as they presented Livermore’s family with various honors. The burial was for family-only.
“I’m still kind of numb,” said Feliz. “Everything that went on today is just icing on the cake from yesterday. To have those people come out to honor my uncle just made it that much better.”
Livermore was laid to rest next to his mother.