Prisoners of war, missing service members recognized at veterans home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Communities across the nation Friday are remembering prisoners of war and those missing in action. That includes the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans where a ceremony was held this afternoon.

According to the Department of Defense, 401 men and women are still missing from Michigan who served in the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars.

The names of those missing from Kent County were read at the ceremony. It's a time of remembrance. Federal, state and local elected officials or their representative had words at the event.

At the center of Friday's ceremony was the missing man table, including "a red rose for those who've made the ultimate sacrifice and the friends and family who are waiting for answers." An empty chair was draped with the POW/MIA flag.

Tom Sibley, with the Vietnam Veterans of America said, “We always talk about heroes and so forth, but the real heroes are those that didn’t come back. So this day helps us remember them so that they’re never forgotten.”

Army veteran Gabe Hudson said he's attended the ceremony for about 26 years. He wore a POW shirt in honor of a friend and fallen airman.

“Two weeks before he was shot down he was given a distinguished service cross for taking on a SAM site. April 28 of ’68 he disappeared from radar, and they’ve never found him again. That’s why this ceremony here is so special to me," Hudson said.

One of the event organizers encourages people to pick up a book on prisoners of war to read their account, as well as making high-schoolers aware of those who've made these sacrifices for their freedom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.