Public invited to honor POWs, MIAs at Alabama State Capitol

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Every third Friday in September is the National Day of Recognition for prisoners of war and service members who are missing in action. Ceremonies are set to take place across the county, but in Alabama, the public is invited to honor these service members Saturday morning at the state capitol.

“Governor Kay Ivey designated today in Alabama is the official prisoner of war/missing in action recognition day to follow the national recognition,” said Kent Davis, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs.

“A coalition of veteran service organizations are sponsoring and performing a ceremony to honor prisoners of war and missing an action,” said Nancy Burtron with the Marine Corps League.

The ceremony will include raising the POW/MIA flag on the grounds of the capitol.

“We will also have a missing man table where we remember those that are not with us,” said Burtron. “We will have members of the Armed Services holding up placards that show how many members of their branch of the military that were from Alabama are still waiting to be found and brought home.”

From World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, nearly 2,000 Alabamians are still MIA and 100 are POWs.

“Their families miss them, and their fellow soldiers miss them,” said Burtron.

But there are efforts to bring them home through the federal Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

“We’ve had several instances here in Alabama in the last few years of identification of missing service members,” said Davis.

For families who still haven’t found their loved one, Burtron says recognition ceremonies will continue to take place.

“We want to keep it up until everyone is returned,” said Burtron. “Want to keep it fresh in the presence of the entire country.”

The ceremony is set to begin at 11 a.m.

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