Long-Overdue Recognition for One of South Dade's Fallen Heroes - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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Long-Overdue Recognition for One of South Dade's Fallen Heroes

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Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 6:38 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Fri Apr 13, 2018.

Private First Class Little was a part of what we call the Greatest Generation, and the name is rightly deserved.

 Many of you know the story of Army Private First Class Johnny Little, a former Homestead resident who was killed in action at the very young age of 19 near Cologne, Germany while fighting Nazis during World War II. PFC Little's remains were brought to South Florida three years after being killed, at which point he was, regrettably, buried without the recognition of his service that should have marked his grave all these years.

I first read his story here in the South Dade News Leader, and I was disappointed one of South Dade's own fallen heroes had gone without recognition for making the ultimate sacrifice for over six decades. I felt it was important this mistake be corrected quickly. My staff immediately opened a case and upon coordinating with PFC Little's relatives, we were able to locate his service records. My office was then able to put in a request to the Department of Veteran's Affairs to secure the appropriate marker for his grave.

Unfortunately, due to the damage from Hurricane Irma, the installation of his headstone had to be put on hold for cleanup and repairs at the cemetery. Thanks largely in part to the work of volunteers who led the recovery efforts after the storm, I was very pleased that last week Private First Class John William Little finally received the recognition he deserves. Family and members of the community came together with the Homestead Air Force Base Honor Guard to place a proper headstone on his grave.

I'm proud of my staff's hard work to secure this recognition for one of our fallen heroes, and humbled we were able to play a role in honoring PFC Little's memory and sacrifice. Due to responsibilities in Washington, I was unable to be there in person for the headstone installation ceremony last week, but I look forward to visiting his grave to pay my respects soon.

Private First Class Little was a part of what we call the Greatest Generation, and the name is rightly deserved. At a time when human dignity and basic freedoms were under attack, he, and millions like him, put their lives on hold to ensure our way of life would be protected for generations to come. Many, including Little, made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives so Americans could keep the basic freedoms we value and the way of life we enjoy. We must never forget what their efforts and sacrifices did for our nation and the world.

Representative Carlos Curbelo (R) represents Florida’s 26th district.

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