American Legion Post 57 will hold the annual POW/MIA Day program on Friday.
The ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Park at Veterans Memorial Plaza, located at the corner of Jackson Street and Temple Avenue. “This is the national recognition day, and we will be setting up the table for six,” said John Lager, who helps organize the event each year.
The table is set with symbolic elements that are reminders of people from each branch of the service, as well as civilians, who are missing as a result of their wartime work.
Congress created the observance as part of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act. The POW/MIA flag, which will be flown in many places across the country on Friday, was first recognized legally in 1990.
There are believed to be some 1,600 U.S. military personnel who were last known to be alive in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Soldiers from earlier wars are also missing without any accounting for what happened to them.
“This program will continue nationwide,” Lager said, “until all POWs/MIAs are accounted for.”