HOGANVILLE, Ga. - The city of Hoganville is preparing for the return of Army Sgt. Billy Joe Maxwell, who died 69 years ago this month in the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
Billy Joe Maxwell’s name already appears on a veteran’s memorial in Hogansville under the heading of the Korean War, but now his remains will be able to come to finally rest in peace.
Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz took to Facebook Wednesday to encourage as many residents to welcome him home.
“I encourage every Hogansville citizen to welcome home Billy Joe by lining East Main Street from our Interstate 85 exit to Johnson Street,” the mayor wrote. “This is the least we can do for a young man who, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said, ‘gave the last full measure of devotion.’”
Maxwell’s remains will be flown into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Thursday afternoon and will be given a procession down Interstate 85.
“Once again, the spotlight will be on the City of Hogansville as we pay homage to this hero,” the mayor wrote.
The mayor said they will be posting updates on the Hoganville City Hall Facebook page starting at around 3 p.m.
There will be a visitation Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m.at the Claude A. McKibben and Sons Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Saturday at 2 p.m. with interment at Myrtle Hill Cemetery
“Once again, I encourage all citizens to line Johnson Street and East Main Street from the McKibben and Sons Funeral Home to Myrtle Hill Cemetery where Sgt. Maxwell will, at long last, be laid to rest,” the mayor wrote.
The North Korean government in June 2018 released 55 cases of human remains following the summit with President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Remarkably, Sgt. Billy Maxwell’s remains were identified from DNA provided by his surviving brothers.
The U.S. says 7,000 service members remain missing from the Korean War.