Final Salute to Lt. Moritz

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Published on May 7 2012 2:34 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The skies cleared in time for the sun to shine on the final farewell ceremony for 2nd Lt. Charles "Butch" Moritz, the Effingham World War II veteran whose remains were laid to rest Saturday afternoon at Oakridge Cemetery.

The ceremony featured full military honors for Lt. Moritz, who was killed in a collision of two Allied aircraft in a training exercise over England the day after D-Day in 1944.

(MEMBERS OF THE PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS STAND AT ATTENTION AT THE GRAVESITE)

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders that had accompanied the remains from St. Louis to Effingham turned out again for the funeral and stood as an honor guard along with the members of the military.  Members of the Moritz family shared memories of Butch, based mainly on what they had been told by their parents or Butch's father, C.J. Moritz.  One relative indicated Butch did not have any interest in the family's construction business, but liked a farm the family had acquired.  Another quipped that Butch's role was to get his siblings in trouble, but all of the words were shared in an affectionate manner as the family sought closure from a death that occured 68 years ago. 

(THE PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS' CYCLES ALSO STOOD VIGIL SATURDAY)

The matter finally started to come to a close when Moritz's remains were discovered by a research group last fall.  A positive identification occurred earlier this year.

The ceremony closed with a 21-gun salute and a military flyover by a trio of helicopters as well as the playing of "Taps".

You'll find a full image gallery of the ceremony on our Facebook page, located here.

(TWO OF THE MILITARY HELICOPTERS THAT FLEW OVER OAKRIDGE CEMETERY DURING LT. CHARLES MORITZ'S FUNERAL SATURDAY)