World War II pilot Edward T. McGuire, a 1939 graduate of Mount Carmel High School, was laid to rest at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Alsip on Oct. 28. For 80 years, McGuire, a first lieutenant, had been unaccounted for. He was one of 58 Mount Carmel alumni who died in World War II. Before the interment, Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park held a visitation and funeral Mass. Veterans stood outside the church holding large American flags to greet the casket, which was draped with an American flag. Bagpipers preceded the casket into the church and a military honor guard served as pall bearers. Following Mass, parishioners of all ages lined the block to pay their respects. People also lined parts of the route to the cemetery and members of the Evergreen Park, Alsip, Crestwood and Oak Lawn fire departments hung large American flags from ladder trucks. At the cemetery, McGuire’s niece Maureen McGuire Farrell accepted a Purple Heart, awarded posthumously to her uncle by the Department of Defense. McGuire, a native of Chicago, served with the 415th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force during World War II. He was killed on Aug. 1, 1943, when the B-24 Liberator aircraft he piloted was downed by enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation Tidal Wave, a historic mission against the oil fields and refineries near Ploiesti, Romania. He was not identified after the war, and his remains were originally interred among the unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania. Following extensive efforts by the American Graves Registration Command and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, McGuire’s identity was confirmed on June 30. McGuire’s name, previously inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Italy, will soon bear a rosette to signify his return. Most Holy Redeemer hosted the funeral because McGuire’s great-niece is a teacher at the school. “In all honestly, when I said, ‘Sure, they can come here,’ I didn’t know it was going to be such a big thing,” said Father James Hyland, pastor. “But when you read the story about him and found out what he had done, yeah, it was a great honor for us to host the funeral.” In his homily, Hyland reflected on McGuire’s age and how what Hyland himself was doing at 22 was quite different. “You’re just in awe of these guys and what they did, how brave they were and their sense of duty,” he said. Father Ryan Brady, associate pastor at the neighboring Our Lady of the Ridge-St. Linus Parish, concelebrated the Mass with Hyland and joined him at the service at the cemetery. “To me, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else,” Brady said. “It was really an honor and a privilege to be there. Here’s a man who was 22 years old, a world away from the South Side of Chicago where he grew up, serving his country very bravely and selflessly. We live in a time where we need those selfless examples — even 80 years later.” Brady said his grandfathers were near in age to McGuire and served in the war. “I thought about sitting at my grandparents’ feet listening to them talk about their experiences with the Navy and their experiences with the war, and just thinking this poor man, Edward McGuire, never had the opportunity,” he said. “That type of heroism and selflessness is incredible.” The fact that McGuire now lies in a plot next to his parents is beautiful, Brady said. “He can rest at ease with his mother and father who never had that type of closure. I think even now, even on the other side of what is to come, I think they have some form of closure that they are able to rest right next to each other,” he said.