It very well could be the final chapter to the Civil War. Friday at Arlington National Cemetery two unknown crewmen found in the turret of the USS Monitor received full military honors. One of those sailors is believed to be a distant uncle to a Fresno woman.
They are two sailors from the USS Monitor who went down with the ship in a New Year's eve storm in 1862. Both go to their graves as mystery men. Diana Rambo was invited by the Navy to follow the caisson carriage procession to the grave site. "One of the sailors believed to be Jacob Nicklis is Rambo's great, great uncle. Her mother provided a DNA sample to the Navy but there was no positive identification. "We didn't do anything but we had a relative that obviously served his country as many people do and we're proud of that."
Testing narrowed the identities of the men down to six, but family members of all sixteen soldiers who died when the Monitor sank were invited to Arlington National Cemetery.
The Navy recovered the two bodies 240 feet below the surface in 2002. It has spent the past decade trying to track down relatives. "We needed to take all the appropriate steps necessary to recover those sailors with all the honors and dignities."
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus spoke at Friday's services. He said it was important to honor these brave men as well as reflect upon the significant role monitor and her crew had in setting the course of the modern Navy.
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