CHENANGO FORKS, N.Y. -- Betsey Hay unwrapped a piece of her family’s history at her home in Chenango Forks, New York.
She held a picture of her uncle, William Bird, who was a World War II veteran from Williamsport. The picture was recently found at a flea market.
“There's a pride to know that he would be happy to know that this is back,” Hay said.
Bird died when he was just 22 years old. He was shot by friendly fire during the invasion of Normandy on D-Day.
Edward Roosa found the picture on the floor of a flea market in Binghamton.
“Soon as I saw it, I knew that doesn't belong here in a flea market. So I just picked it right up, went and bought it, and told the guy I bought it from I was going to find the family,” Roosa said.
The back of the picture shows Bird grew up in Williamsport. Roosa called the Williamsport American Legion Post #1 for help.
“We messaged back and forth and they put it right on Facebook. The pictures that I sent down to her, she put them on the Facebook page and there's well over 1,000 shares! Everybody down there really worked hard,” Roosa said.
The American Legion was able to connect Roosa and Hay.
Hay said this picture of her uncle got lost in the shuffle during an estate sale about five years ago.
“We had a lot of people helping to clean it out and get ready for auction and for a big yard sale and so on. I'm not sure what path it took but it ended up at a flea market,” Hay said.
Hay never knew her uncle because he died before she was born. However, she keeps a cassette tape of her mother talking about the day he died.
From the floor of a flea market to hanging in Hay’s home, it seems Bird’s journey is finally done.
“There you go, Uncle Bill. Thank you so much for your service,” Hay said after hanging the picture.
You will be able to see the picture of Bird all over Williamsport soon.
The Williamsport American Legion said it will be making a Hometown Hero banner for him. It should be put up around the fall.