Everyone is welcome to attend the POW/MIA Remembrance Day at VFW Post 4353 Sept. 23 to honor and remember those who were prisoners of war as well as those missing in action.
The National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday of each September in the United States. This year the Greater Pine Island VFW will hold a remembrance day this Sunday, which is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Fire Base #594 and Rolling Thunder Chapter 2.
VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Bernadette Sullivan said she is expecting about 200 people to attend the event, which includes community members and members of other VFW branches.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with an honor guard presenting the colors, which will be followed by a table ceremony. The table ceremony will include a member from each branch of service in uniform circling around the table that will include a serving for all of them followed by a speech indicating the significance.
Each gentleman will then lay his hat on the table, picking up a glass and then turning it over, which will conclude what is known as the missing man ceremony.
The POW/MIA table, which is another ceremony that will be held, consists of such items as a candle, rose, plate setting and a chair on a single table. A speech will be presented to describe what each item symbolizes.
If You Go:
When: Sunday, Sept. 23,
with ceremony beginning
at 11 a.m.
Where: VFW Post 4353,
8150 Stringfellow Road,
in St. James City
Rolling Thunder President Dan Hurley said Larry Guy, a previous commander of the post, will be speaking during the event.
The final presentation will be the cage ceremony, which will include a bamboo cage that the Vietnam prisoners were kept within. A cage will be brought into the VFW with someone dressed in full uniform inside. The conclusion of the ceremony will be the release of the prisoner, as well as an escort away from the cage, showing he is freed.
Food, which includes barbecue chicken, beans, cole slaw, macaroni salad, rolls and a butter cake, will be served at 1 p.m. A $7 per plate donation is being asked for the lunch.
Music will begin at 2 p.m.
A POW/MIA K-Bar raffle will be held after the ceremony is over, along with basket raffles and a 50/50. POW and MIA flags are also available for purchase.
"We are pretty proud that we are able to put one on," Hurley said of the remembrance ceremony. "It will be a nice day."