WWII veteran's family reunited with Purple Heart missing for decades

Bernard J. McNamaraHelayne Seidman

Bernard J. McNamaraHelayne Seidman

"Reuniting B.J. McNamara's Purple Heart with his family is a storybook ending after a long, long search", Schumer said.

She added that she never even realized the medal was gone, assuming that an extended family member was holding onto it.

The medal was found years ago on a NY road with the inscription B.J. McNamara on December 1943.

The family of a World War II veteran now has a big piece of his history back.

McNamara's family thanked Senator Schumer for helping to retrieve the priceless medal, and said the late veteran would be very appreciative. "McNamara Dec. 9, 1943" because there were thousands of McNamara's in World War II and dozens with the initials "B.J". "I think that was the last time I ever saw those medals".

It was taken to an American Legion post, and Schumer's office was contacted.

It was finally determined it did, in fact, belong to Bernard McNamara of the Bronx and it was presented to his son, Brian; daughter, Catherine; grandson, Matthew; and granddaughter, Christine, in Nyack.

McNamara was captured by the Nazis after his injury, where he was held as a prisoner of war for more than 15 months.

"She took the medals out - my dad's medals - and she was pinning them on all the little kids and she told them to go outside and play soldier", Birong said.

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