WWII Soldier Killed in Action Honored 74 Years after Death

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When Private William Zimmerman was killed serving his country in 1944, he never got a proper memorial. The central Illinois soldier, who was part of the Army’s 117th Infantry, was surrounded by German forces during World War II. His remains were never recovered, and therefore, no memorial service was held. It is the way it remained for nearly 74 years, until members of his family decided to come together to hold a memorial service at Danville National Cemetery. 

“It means a lot. Even though his body isn’t here, we will finally have a place to come visit with him, bring his flowers.” says Private Zimmerman’s granddaughter Billie Beason 

Beason, who never had the chance to meet her grandfather, says she still feels a close bond with him. It is why she is glad so many were able to attend the memorial service. 

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