By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
Residents are being encouraged to show their patriotism toward a recently identified World War II U.S. serviceman who was killed in action 69 years ago.
The remains of Mannington native Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger, who lost his life defending this country in 1944, have been identified, and the U.S. Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) recently announced that his remains are being returned to his family.
Kiger will be buried Sunday with full military honors.
Mannington Mayor Jim Taylor said he hopes citizens will show their respect for all veterans, including Kiger, by lining Market Street and Buffalo Street in Mannington during Kiger’s motorcade.
The procession will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Hutson Funeral Home and end at Mannington Memorial Park.
“I ask that people come out to Citizen Square and show respect for the veteran,” he said. “We’ll have small American flags to hand out.”
Several veterans’ groups will be participating in the lining of the streets as the procession goes through downtown Mannington, including the West Virginia Patriot Guard.
Kiger will be buried between the graves of his father and mother.
Taylor also proclaimed Sunday, July 21, as Jerome Kiger Day in the City of Mannington and asked that residents display their American flags to show respect for veterans everywhere.
“I encourage those in Mannington to show their patriotism and respect for a true war hero,” he said.
The aircraft Kiger was in on July 21, 1944, was shot down and crashed during a bombing raid in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Kiger was one of nine crew members on the aircraft.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.