Quad Cities Holds POW/MIA Remembrances

September  19, 2013

Soldiers who went missing during wartime will be remembered tomorrow (Fri) in the Quad Cities. Several ceremonies will be held to honor National P-O-W / M-I-A Recognition Day. In Bettendorf, the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 7-76 will hold its first event to honor prisoners or war and those missing in action at Veterans Memorial Park. 

Chapter president, Greg Paulline, says the guest speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel William Hampton, a member of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which finds and returns lost soldiers to their families.

"All gave some, some gave all," said Paulline. "And these men gave all and have never been able to return to their families for closure. And there's still a possibility that some of these vets are still prisoners in areas of Vietnam we haven't yet found. And we need to continue to work to bring them back or at least find a final result for as many of these soldiers as we can."

Paulline hopes the ceremony will remind people of the soldiers who sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice. The POW/MIA Missing Man table with symbolic significance will be on display at the ceremony.

"The table's round to show our everlasting concern for our missing men," said Paulline. "The table cloth is white symbolizing the purity of their motives by answering the call to duty. The single red rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and the loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith awaiting answers."

The Vietnam Veterans of America POW/MIA recognition ceremony will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf. Another ceremony will also be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Rock Island Arsenal. Keynote speaker will be Colonel Elmer Speights Jr., a commander of the U.S. Army Garrison on Arsenal Island.