POW/MIA Service Held In Longview - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/22/07-Longview

POW/MIA Service Held In Longview

In Longview, veterans came together to remember those who have turned up missing in foreign wars.  Saturday was national POW and MIA recognition day, with observances held all over the country.  In a moving ceremony at the Longview VFW 4002, those who have been missing in action, or prisoners of war were remembered.

"Every American can do their part whether they served, or not to keep leaning on our public officials to let them know we've got to take care of these soldiers," said gulf War Veteran Eric Cook.

"This is one thing, as long as I have breath in my body, I will never let die, is the POW/MIA issue" said Helen Smith, who's husband was a World War II POW.  The numbers are staggering.  Since World War II nearly 100,000 servicemen remain Missing In Action.  There whereabouts, still a mystery.

"Until we have answers, until those people are brought back home to their families, so there's closure each and every one of us have got to fight for this," said Cook.  Symbolic flowers were laid in remembrance of those who were never found, and an empty chair honoring all MIA's were placed center stage.

"We can support their families who they were giving their lives for, to make sure that they had freedom, that they had a better life," said Gulf War Veteran James Snow.  For many the observance has a personal meaning.

"We've got to remember the boys that are fighting," said Billie Whittle, who's husband liberated a World War II prison camp.  "The ones that have already fought the ones that died for our country."  Their hope is that through observances like this, people will never forget those who suffered as POW's and those who never came home.  

According to defense department numbers, there are still 78,000 MIA's from World War II, and more than 8,000 from the Korean War.  Fourteen hundred soldiers remain missing from Vietnam.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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