The Emporia Gazette
World War II Marine Private First Class (Pfc.) Glenn White, who was killed in action on the island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands, Nov. 22, 1943, is coming home to Emporia today, Sept. 17.
His homecoming coincides with National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is observed on the third Friday in September. It honors those who were prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.
White will be repatriated to his family in a private ceremony at Kansas City International Airport shortly after noon. An escorted procession will then proceed via I-435, I-35, and Sixth Avenue in Emporia to Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home with a planned arrival time between 3-4 p.m.
During the fierce fighting for Betio, approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and 2,000 wounded. Pfc. White was killed on the third day of the battle, and was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his brave actions and extreme courage. White was previously listed as “not recoverable.”
The public is encouraged to honor Pfc. White and this Gold Star family anywhere along this route. Emporia-area residents can join in a flag line east of Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home along Sixth Avenue.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, Pfc. White will be escorted from the Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home to Maplewood Memorial Lawn Cemetery.
The procession will head west on Sixth Avenue to Prairie Street, then continue north to the cemetery. The public is welcome and encouraged to pay their respects anywhere along the route.
A graveside service will occur at 11 a.m. Military honors. The public is welcome to attend.