Column: Remember brave POWs, MIAs today

The Tribune

In November, we will celebrate Veterans Day. It is a way to remember and honor those who served the country in the military and continue to serve today both at home and abroad.

The following month, many will pause to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that launched America into World War II. It also is appropriate to mark that date.

In May, Memorial Day is set aside to honor all those who gave their lives in defense of the country.

On all of these occasions, we occasionally remember another segment of troops. But they are seldom singled out. These are the prisoners of war and those troops who remain missing in action.

But they, too, have a special day; although, it’s not one that’s marked on most calendars.

Congress has declared that the third Friday in September each year shall be National POW/MIA Recognition Day. This year, that day is today.

When most people think of troops taken prisoner or missing in action, they envision the Korean and Vietnam wars. That is because of the large number that remained unaccounted for years after those wars ended. But National POW/MIA Recognition Day is meant to remember all troops from all conflicts.

Some of those would be people like Emil Ray Clark, Melvin Darlage, Ivan Hoene and Russell Sherrill. They were among Jackson County residents held as prisoners of war during World War II.

Prisoners of war and troops missing in action often are remembered during many salutes to veterans, but they aren’t the focus. Of course, the POW/MIA float is a regular part of area parades, including the annual VJ Parade and Seymour Oktoberfest Parade.

Marking National POW/MIA Recognition Day each September is a way to remember the sacrifices of those members of our armed forces.

We can honor men and women like Clark, Darlage, Hoene, Sherrill and others by pausing today to remember them and their sacrifice.

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