A Utica World War II veteran is set to receive the highest honor for a fallen soldier, as he will be forever memorialized in our nation's most famous cemetery.

Army First Lt. Myles W. Esmay is set to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony on August 1st, it was recently reported.

It took more than 75 years for First Lt. Myles' remains to be identified. Myles was serving with Company B, 236th Engineer Combat Battalion in Burma (now Myanmar) when he was killed on June 7th, 1944.

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According to reports, Esmay died from a hand grenade attack while fighting the Japanese. At the time his remains were not identified, and he was buried with other unidentified soldiers at a U.S. Military Cemetery in Myanmar. His remains bounced around several U.S. Military Cemeteries before being examined by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Scientists were able to use dental, anthropological, and DNA analysis, along with circumstantial evidence, to identify the unknown soldier. On May 25th, 2021, the DPAA were able to formally announce the remains as fallen serviceman Esmay.

Esmay was born in Utica in 1917 and graduated from the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1940. He then enlisted in the Army and was accepted into the Air Cadet Program.

First Lt. Esmay's name is listed on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. But tradition sees a rosette placed next to a soldier's name when they are later accounted for.

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