Today is National POW-MIA Recognition Day, a day we remember those who languished in enemy prison camps or who were never accounted for during a conflict. VFW post 4002 and American Legion auxiliary held a somber ceremony at Eastman Estates in Longview, commemorating National POW-MIA recognition day. A POW-MIA flag was presented to be flown continually at the facility.
"Today's opportunity to raise the flag on our pole became a very special moment for us because we do want people to remember those that are still missing in action," says Eastman Estates life enrichment director Rhonda Colby.
The term POW-MIA was first brought to national attention during the Korean war, then even moreso after the revelation of the horrors inflicted on American prisoners of war in Vietnam.
"There's many families that still don't know where the remains of their loved ones are," says VFW post 4002 member Robert Wallace.
For Eastman resident Bobby Reeves, a Korean War and Vietnam War veteran, it's a reminder of the cost of war.
"Millions sacrificed their lives for the protection of this country. We've still got people missing, and until they are located and brought home, the Vietnam war is not over. They need to be located and brought home," Reeves says.
Today, there are still 83,417 Americans missing in action, according to the Department of Defense Prisoner of War-Missing Personnel Office. That includes some 73,681 from World War II; 7,947 from the Korean War; 126 during the Cold War; 1,657 from the Vietnam War; and six from Iraq and other conflicts.
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