When a woman reached out to News4, she wanted to get a very important letter and flag back home.

"It just belongs with that family," Catherine Ross told us in our original story Tuesday.

After buying a storage unit, Ross came across a flag in a case, a Bible in a box and a 1940s-era letter from New York written to a mother in Lebanon.

Ross read from the letter.

"Dear Mrs. Sanders, as mayor of the city of New York, and on behalf of the citizens of this city, I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the family of PFC Clarence A. Peak, who so honorably gave his life so that others may enjoy peace and freedom. I trust and pray his sacrifice will not have been in vain."

"It's addressed to Mrs. Maggie W. P. Sanders of Hunters Point Pike, Lebanon, Tennessee," Ross continued.

Minutes after the original story aired on Tuesday, we got a message. A family member of Peak was watching the story.

On Thursday, Ross made her way up the drive-way of Patricia Fleming, the niece of the man in the letter.

"Welcome," said Fleming, throwing open a door and hugging Ross. "Thank you so very much. We truly, truly appreciate your kindness in sharing this with us  and getting it back to us where it belongs."

"This is where it belongs," Ross answered. "It's home."

The family doesn't know how any of the items ended up in a storage unit. They've always kept old pictures and clippings to remember Peak, a soldier killed in the 1944 Battle of Anzio. The family said it took several years for Peak's body to be returned home, and that could explain why the letter was written in 1948.

That the letter and flag are back home would mean so much to Betty Kelley, Fleming's mother and Peak's sister. 

"My mother passed away in November 2017," said Fleming. "Through the years, she had said, 'I wonder what happened to Clarence's flag?' Now, it's just a good closure for us, for my mom. We're just glad to have it back home."

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Reporter

Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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