The 82-year-old Coffee translated for the audience at the Pentagon’s annual POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony, attended by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter; Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and families of the missing.
The program was opened up with The Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem and prayer. Representing DAV, Lovett encouraged any veterans in attendance to look into collecting benefits they are entitled to that they might not be receiving.
“I was mentally prepared to sustain serious injury or death, but before that day I never contemplated the reality of being captured by the enemy”.
The POW-MIA Day Ceremony was hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 910 and the Corpus Christi Mayor’s Committee for Veterans Affairs on Saturday morning at Sherrill Park. “We feel the pain”, Schrump said. “Skilled forensic scientists have identified many missing in the recent years”.
“The single red rose in a vase is there as a reminder of the lives of each of the missing and their loved ones who keep the faith, still waiting for answers”, said Dellinger. “This is the least people we’ve ever had and we just wish there would be more that would remember”, he said.
The ceremony also featured the “The Missing Man Table” which featured place setting for one and hats from each branch of US military.
Cadets posted the colors – the American flag, lowered to half-staff, and the POW/MIA flag, raised to half-staff – as a cappella group Wild Blue Yonders sang the National Anthem. They are not with us today. She noted that the distinctive black and white POW-MIA flag is supposed to be flown above government buildings on this recognition day, but it was not flying in Dubuque.
“I grew up fast”, Sutherland said. Afterward, guests lined up to shake the hands of the five POWs and thank them for their service.
After the Paris Peace Accords, the US listed 1,350 Americans that were classified as either prisoners of war or missing in Action.