After 51 years, fallen Lincoln soldier is finally laid to rest

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Over half a century after he went missing, the family of a Lincoln fallen hero was able to say goodbye on Monday.

In 1972, Larry Zich was co-piloting a helicopter on a combat support mission in South Vietnam. During the flight, the pilot communicated that they were lost. 

But the helicopter could not be found on radar and was never heard from again.

It was Zich’s 24th birthday. 

His remains were identified in October, but officials did not announce the identification until March.

SEE ALSO: Lincoln soldier’s remains identified from Vietnam War

On Monday, he was buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, close to where his son was laid to rest in 1970.

Veterans who served with Zich came from other states and shared some stories. 

“I would have been on that flight, but I had orders to go home that day,” Bill Case said.

 Jim Schertz was in another helicopter on that same mission.

“We had to wait for him to come back,” he said. “We never saw him again.”

SEE ALSO: ‘You can never thank them enough’: Lincoln honors fallen, their families on Memorial Day

They said it brings relief to finally have closure on his disappearance. 

“It’s a blessing for your soul to get some relief and know what happened,” Ronald Jemison said.

Zich is memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. 

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