On Friday Sept. 21, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 3916 will be hosting its first-ever Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day and Candle Light Ceremony.
The ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. in Market Square on North First Avenue in Durant. The post is hoping to get local dignitaries to speak at the event.
There will be a memorial service and candle lighting followed by announcement of POW/MIA names and a prayer for the nation’s POW/MIA men and women.
VFW posts have had private ceremonies to commemorate the day in the past but Post 3916 hopes to get the community involved.
The ceremony is planned to be an annual community event to recognize POW/MIA Day from this year on.
It will be held to commemorate those soldiers and veterans who are or have been prisoners of war or missing in action.
National POW/MIA Day is recognized on the third Friday of September each year.
On this day the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag is flown at government locations such as post offices, major military installations, war memorials, government offices and the White House.
According to the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office’s (DPMO) website, more than 83,000 Americans are still missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War.
Six are missing from operations in Iraq. This includes two service members missing from Desert Storm and one service member and three Department of Defense contractors missing from Iraqi Freedom.
Each year a new POW/MIA poster is made in recognition of the day. This year’s poster is available to download at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/pow_day/.