By Jack Harper
LEOMINSTER, Mass. (WCVB/CNN) - The remains of a Massachusetts soldier killed during the Korean War returned home Wednesday. It was a dream come true for family members who prayed for his return for decades.
"It means my mother's prayers have been answered, the whole family's prayers have been answered," said Al Guillemette, nephew of PFC. Norman Dufresne.
PFC. Dufresne came home Wednesday. It was a long road of 63 years since the 20-year-old soldier was reported missing in action in Korea.
"The last of 12 in my family. It's an honor to see my big brother home finally after 63 years, could you imagine," said his sister, Claire Weber.
PFC. Dufresne 17 when he signed up to defend his country. His disappearance half a world away left a whole in a huge proud Leominster family.
"Growing up, whenever there were family gatherings they used to mention Uncle Norman a lot you know," said Guillemette.
Last year, advances in DNA sciences allowed a positive id on remains found a year after PFC. Dufresne was lost.
"After all this time it's unbelievable. This is the most remarkable event in my life," said Weber.
She and other relatives escorted her big brother on the final leg home. His last ride up Mechanic Street, up by St. Cecilias, where his parents had prayed until they died for their boy the hero.
"My grandmother used to say the rosary at night and then she would look out the window and expect to see Uncle Normy coming home you know and I think this is why he's home," said Guillemette.
"I can remember her sitting in her rocking chair and say if he's dead, if he's not dead, bring him home and she would just sit and rock and cry because she never gave up hope, never, never gave up hope," said niece Jayne Peppen Ponder.