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POW/MIA Day vigil was held on Thursday

September 26, 2012
BERLIN – A small crowd gathered for the POW/MIA vigil that was held on Thursday evening at Veteran's Park, located on Glen Avenue, to remember and honor US service members who are prisoners of war or still missing in action.

Members of the White Mountain Veterans Council and several posts from the local American Legion, men and ladies auxiliaries alike, as well as some civilians and veteran supporters, came Thursday night to observe POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The ceremony started with a live performance of the National Anthem sung by Denise Doucette, of Berlin, followed by an opening prayer as caps were removed and heads were bowed.

White Mountain Veterans Council member David Dubey, of Berlin, then introduced the organizations who were present including American Legion Post 82 and Ladies Auxiliary Post 36, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2520.

After the introductions, Dubey described the meaning behind POW/MIA Day in a touching speech:

"Each Year we observe POW/MIA Day for two reasons. The first is to honor and support the families and friends of our missing comrades. This ritual is for them. We want them to know that in some small way, we share their sorrow, and that their loved ones are not forgotten. We cannot give them closure, but we can help to renew their ability to hope," he said in part of the speech.

"The second reason is to recall our elected leaders' attention to this issue. When we served in the armed forces, we all knew we could be killed, wounded, or captured. We were promised that extraordinary efforts would be made to rescue us if we were captured, or to recover our remains if we were missing. To our leaders we say don't treat this like some sort of empty campaign promise to be forgotten as soon as the elections are over. This is a solemn pledge made to us, America's soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and woman, and we expect these efforts to continue until every one of our comrades is accounted for," he continued.

The ceremony continued with the lighting of candles and then with an introduction of the POW/MIA table that contains symbolic items to recognize and honor those service members.

A prayer and three volley salute closed the observance.

The Department of Defense lists 83,414 American POW/MIA not accounted for since World War II.

Garnett Hill
Salmon Press
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
Northern Human Services
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