Community remembers Pearl Harbor casualty after DNA match returns remains home

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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LAKE BENTON, M.N. (Dakota News Now) - A small Minnesota town came together on Friday to show how they take care of their own.

The historic Lake Benton Opera House was standing at the same time that Glenn Cyriack, his friends and family called Lake Benton Home. The community gathered to bring Mr. Cyriack back home and lay him to rest after 82 years.

When Steve Krause received a call from the Navy that his uncle’s remains were identified among 400 bodies buried at Pearl Harbor, it took his breath away.

“I thought I’d be stronger than I was, but I broke down,” Krause said.

Three family members provided their DNA at the request of the VA about seven years ago, and then life went on.

“And then all of a sudden, we find out that he’s been identified and it just went from there and has been wonderful and crazy and everything else,” Krause expressed.

Krause was too young to remember his uncle, but heard the stories.

“So they were not sure if he was even alive for so long. That was hard on brothers and sisters and grandpa and grandma,” said Krause.

Knowing how he died has brought comfort. Knowing it was a direct blow that took his life quickly.

“Amazing how much of his body bones that they have identified,” Krause expressed.

Among those paying their respects on Friday was retired Sergeant Alan Benz, who was stationed in Hawaii years after the attack.

“In the army, we served in a barrack that had bullet holes in the roof from the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Benz said,

He’s visited memorials.

“I’ve been to the punch bowl cemetery in Hawaii, where Glenn was originally buried,” Benz said.

Although decades apart in service, Benz wanted to welcome another veteran back home.

“It’s a matter of honor when you’re in the military,” Benz expressed.

“A great tribute to our military and Uncle Glenn,” said Krause.

Family members say that they have heard stories of Glenn in the past, but now they know him on a much deeper level.