Dr. Michael DeBakey laid to rest

July 18, 2008 4:24:23 PM PDT
Famed heart surgeon Michael DeBakey of Houston has been laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Defense Secretary Robert Gates lowered himself on one knee and presented the flag from the coffin to DeBakey's wife, Katrin.

Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake also attended the graveside burial ceremony.

DeBakey died last Friday. He was 99.

His World War II service entitled him to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but his grave is not among those of medical doctors. That area is full.

DeBakey was buried in an area where General John Pershing and Ira Hayes, one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers, also lay.

DeBakey's work led to military units that deliver lifesaving surgeries on the war front. He also was a leader for research on veterans health problems.

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