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Tragic World War II Airman Gets Star Of David On Headstone — 75 Years Later

(JTA) — The headstone of an American soldier killed in World War II was replaced with one bearing a Star of David, according to his wishes.

A headstone replacement ceremony was held on Feb. 28 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to a report in the Air Force news website 15th Wing.

Staff Sgt. Jack Weiner was killed during an air raid on Aug. 10, 1945, days before the surrender of Japan. He was the only son of a Jewish immigrant mother from Russia, who had enlisted, despite being excused from the draft.

Originally buried in Japan, Weiner’s remains were moved to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Mach 1949. Weiner ended up with a Christian Cross on his headstone, instead of the Star of David, according to 15th Wing.

First Lt. Rabbi Levy Pekar, who serves from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, first heard about Weiner and the mix-up of his headstone from one of the navigator’s cousins.

“Sgt. Weiner’s story resonated with me on so many different levels,” Pekar said. “With both of us being Jewish and Airmen, I felt like his story could have easily been mine.”

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