PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — An American flag flew over the Stevenson Expressway Thursday for a suburban soldier who fought for his country – and died for his country.

Sgt. Arthur Countryman died in World War II. Seventy-seven years later, he’s home.

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A somber motorcade delivered Countryman’s remains to a Plainfield funeral home Thursday. Residents lined the streets for a stranger, with long breaths of silence spoke to the moment.

Countryman died in 1944, helping to save the world from Nazis. At a battle near Hurtgen, Germany, he was KIA – killed in action.

He became, and remained, a mystery until this summer, via DNA.

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Descendants of the American hero will finally have their farewell – but it doesn’t take relation to be so moved.

On this Thursday, James Goodson did his duty. He showed up to honor someone he never knew.

“It’s quite an honor to stand up and welcome him home,” Goodson said.

For 77 years, Countryman toiled in limbo. Now, he is one step away from the most deserving rest in peace.

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Sgt. Countryman’s funeral will be held next Friday.

Brad Edwards