GRIDLEY, Ill. (WMBD) — A McLean County family received closure after almost a century.

From Pontiac to Gridley American flags lined the road Saturday to honor US Army Air Corps’ Private First Class John Lewis Ferguson.

Ferguson was born in Gridley March 2, 1922 and died in the Philippines as a Prisoner of War during World War II December 10, 1942.

Nearly 80 years later, Ferguson was officially accounted for by the DPAA on July 14, 2022 and his remains have been returned home.

“You know the World War I song that went, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home.'” We always knew that he wouldn’t come marching home but we’re finally glad to see him home and at rest,” said Ferguson’s nephew Mike Ferguson.

Mike is the son of Ferguson’s last living brother. Mike said the family is delighted to have this closure.

“It’s been a long time coming. It was really kind of an open wound for the family, for my father,” said Mike.

Ferguson’s remains were received with military honors at the O’Hare International Airport.

David Gier serves as the Senior Ride Captain for the North East Illinois Region of the Illinois Patriot Guard.

He participated in escorting Ferguson’s remains from Chicago to the funeral home in Pontiac.

“The Patriot Guard honors America’s heroes. This forever young man has been waiting 80 years to come home to be buried on home soil. It was our honor, it was our privilege to bring him home,” said Gier.

Many attended the repatriation services on Saturday at Gridley Cemetery. Mike said the love and support is overwhelming.

“The respect shown, the desire to see him honored, to see John honored it’s really been overwhelming. My father was wondering whether anyone would come. And I told him I was sure there would be people that would come but we certainly didn’t expect this,” Mike said.