By Jim Williams

(CBS) – It was an honor seven decades in the making.

The family of a World War II veteran finally received his medal for bravery.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.

It’s a story of a modest man, his devoted cousin and a U.S. senator who did some research.

In Arlington Heights Monday, those lost in the war were remembered. Also honored was one man who survived combat and who had a long life — but not long enough to receive a medal he deserved.

John Bock, a Chicago area native, was awarded the Bronze Star for valor during World War II.

“He flew a glider into D-Day, and that was a pretty dangerous thing to do,” U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a North Shore Republican, says.

Bock went on to have a distinguished career as an aeronautical engineer and never discussed his bravery, says his cousin Nancy Clausin.

“We knew he had been in the war, the Battle of the Bulge, that sort of thing. But we had no idea he was a hero,” she said.

John Bock died four years ago. Clausin, going through Bock’s possessions, learned of the honor but saw he never got the medal itself.

So she contacted Kirk, who found the late veteran should have gotten the Bronze Star for valor shown in the Battle of the Bulge.

Monday, nearly seven decades later, Kirk pinned John Bock’s medal on his only surviving relative.

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