Coming Home

Return to Beaver Valley

I’d had a feeling of anticipation for a long while.  It was like waiting for the birth of a child,” Denton recalled upon hearing that his uncle had been found.

I was thrilled and excited, really overwhelmed.”

Unfortunately, the news came almost sixty years too late for Sergeant Fae Moore’s mother, Mary.  There had been no closure for her.

Reflecting a bit on how his grandmother Moore might have received the news of her son finally being found and coming home for burial with the family, Denton paused a moment.

With prayerful thanks that God had granted her wish.”

Lawrence Denton displays Fae Moore's medals delivered by
Marine Corps representatives Sergeant Rjan Robertson and
and Mrs. Hattie Johnson from Marine Corps Headquarters.
In August, Hattie Johnson and Marine Sergeant Rjan Robertson traveled to Lakewood, Colorado to meet with Denton and a Moore cousin, Gary Hawley.  They spent the better share of the day learning about how the remains of their uncle were found and rigorous process of excavation and identification.  They discussed when and where a memorial service might take place, and how the Marine Corps would return SGT Moore “back home.”  But mostly they talked about Sergeant Fae Moore.  What they remembered or had been told about him by other family members.  What they knew, and what they didn’t know – and likely never would know.  Exactly how he died.   And the fiancee’ in New Zealand that he would never get to marry. 

On October 4, Sergeant Moore’s remains were flown from Honolulu to Rapid City, South Dakota.  A Marine Honor Guard from Billings, Montana, transferred them to an adjacent building, where a Marine guard stood watch through the night.  On Wednesday morning, they transferred the casket to a Chamberlain Chapel hearse for the trip to Chadron, Nebraska.  They were escorted by the Patriot Guard, the Highway Patrol, and an entourage of other law enforcement agencies, to Chadron.  More than 100 people, many with flags, lined the highway as they arrived at Chamberlain Chapel, where final preparations were made for a private family viewing the next morning.

Full military honors were rendered for Sergeant 
Fae V. Moore, USMC.       (Con Marshall photo)
On that cold and cloudy morning, Thursday, October 6, Sergeant Moore made his final journey home and was laid to rest with his parents in the Beaver Valley Cemetery, about 16 miles northeast of Chadron.  The small and tranquil cemetery lies between two geologic landmarks – Beaver Wall to the east and Sheridan Gates to the southwest. It’s just minutes from where Fae Moore grew up and within walking distance of where he went to school. 

Despite light rain and snow flurries, nearly 200 people attended the 10:30 a.m. memorial service, conducted with full military honors.

Following the services, a luncheon was held at the American Legion Club in Chadron.

For many of the 50 or so Moore family members who attended the service, it was a chance for fellowship.  Most hadn't seen one another for many years.  Many had never met.

Most importantly, this homecoming and service was an opportunity for family, friends, and the community to come together and pay their respects to this young Marine who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.  To say “Welcome home, Sergeant Fae Moore. Well done.  Semper Fi!”


Note:  Larry Miller lives in Spearfish, SD.  He grew up in Chadron 
and was a neighbor to the Moore and Denton families.
For additional photos, visit our Fae Moore gallery.