VIRGINIA, MN–After 77 years, closure Saturday for an Iron Range community as a once missing World War II veteran was laid to rest.
Thanks to advances in DNA testing, scientists were able to identify the remains of Dante Tini. At 19 years old, the Virginia, Minnesota native died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
His remains returned to the Northland on Thursday. Saturday, more than 300 family, friends, and community members gathered at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia for his funeral.
“It’s many feelings,” Rebecca Waldorf, Tini’s great, great niece said. “It’s wonderful, and it’s tearful, and most of all I’m grateful.”
After the mass, Tini’s casket arrived at Calvary Cemetery, were he was finally laid to rest during a ceremony with full military honors and an F-16 flyover.
“I think this is amazing that we can bring him home to rest,” Waldorf said.
A reception followed the day’s ceremonies.