War veteran's urn located; Lyerly looking at options | News
SALISBURY - The urn containing the cremated remains of Korean War veteran Charles Benson, Sr., have been located in the rubble that once was the Lyerly Funeral Home.
A fire that started in the furnace on Friday destroyed the funeral home. Benson's remains, as well as those of two sisters were still in the funeral home at the time of the fire and could not be retrieved.
While the sister's remains were in coffins and were located and removed on Saturday, the urn was harder to find.
"I got in there digging," funeral home owner Brent Lyerly told WBTV. "I wanted closure for his family the best I could get, I prayed and prayed and prayed and so we found it. This can now let us move forward."
The Salisbury Fire Department's Rescue One Company worked with Lyerly to locate the urn. The blue marble urn was scorched, but remained was still sealed with the remains inside.
On Wednesday Lyerly transferred the remains into a new urn, identical to the old one. He even took a few of the pieces of the broken urn and placed them in the new one.
Lyerly also recovered a burned American flag that had been on the display next to the urn. That flag was given to the family, along with a new one.
Benson's family is planning a private service with military honors at a later date.
"The families have been so good through all of this," Lyerly said. "Hopefully this be some kind of a positive note in all of this.
The Lyerly Funeral Home is a Salisbury institution, established by Brent Lyerly's father, James, in 1957. The building that burned on Friday was built in 1964.
Lyerly is now talking to real estate agents about possible locations for the funeral home until the permanent site can be rebuilt.
"The old A & P property is a possibility," Lyerly told WBTV. He was referring to the lot across the street from the current location that recently has been a Salvation Army thrift store.
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