By Melanie Posey
MONTEVALLO, AL (WBRC) - Marie Cleghorn sheds tears of joy this Memorial Day.
Those tears were 60 years in the making. "I wanted so long, for so many years, and finally I got them all together. My family's all home," she said through tears.
Her story begins in September 1950. Her father, Master Sergeant Silas Wayfray Wilson, was fighting in the Korean War when she was born. "According to him, I was supposed to have blue eyes and blond curls. Well, the blond curls were there, but the eyes were green."
Two weeks after receiving a photo of his baby girl, Chinese soldiers captured Wilson.
As he stood before a firing squad, he smiled at them. Minutes later, he was dead.
But another soldier who was also supposed to die that day actually lived and talked with Wilson until his dying breath.
"And after Sgt. Wilson had died, he cut the patches off his uniform and took his New Testament out of his pocket," said Kathy Hooper, a friend of the family. "And he carried it out when he was rescued."
For years, both Wilson's remains and his belongings were missing, until 2009. That's when his remains were flown home to his daughter. And his fellow soldier also found the family and returned Wilson's patches.
This Memorial Day, the Patriot Guard riders presented one more gift to Cleghorn...the POW flag flown at her father's grave side services.
"It has been for a lot of years, there was a gap and nothing could fill it," Cleghorn, "and when they brought daddy home, it closed and I felt like a whole person for the first time.