POW/MIA event set for Sept. 20

By ED HOWELL
Posted 9/11/18

The annual public ceremony to commemorate prisoners of war and those still missing in action from past wars will be held outside the front of the Walker County Courthouse at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. …

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POW/MIA event set for Sept. 20

Posted

The annual public ceremony to commemorate prisoners of war and those still missing in action from past wars will be held outside the front of the Walker County Courthouse at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20. 

Bunny Murray, the president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary, confirmed the details last week. The auxiliary is part of VFW Post 4850 in Jasper. 

"Actually, the third Friday of every September is the national POW/MIA Day," Murray said. "We started doing it on Thursday about four or five years ago because we get a few more people showing up because of football." 

The ceremony will include prayers from VFW chaplain James Little and Auxiliary chaplain Angie Gossett, the National Anthem and a 21-gun salute offered by the American Legion color guard. 

"This year, the American Legion and the Elks are going to be involved in it, too," she said. "We're trying to get more people involved in it" to increase participation. 

Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, who has participated for a number of years, said over the weekend he had a prior commitment and will not be able to part of the ceremony. However, other speakers, such as Jasper Mayor David O'Mary and state Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper, are expected to be a part of the event. 

"Last year we had a POW come in to speak, but some of them have trouble talking about it," Murray said. 

One highlight will be to set up and explain the Missing Man Table, which is a place of honor set up in memory of those who are POWs and missing in action. The event, which gained popularity in the wake of the Vietnam War, represents a table setting for a military person missing from the table, and each of the settings or items in the display are explained for their symbolism to remember the persons not present. 

"We talk about the POWs and the MIAs," using information from national organizations and data bases, Murray said. "Luckily, we don't have as many from this conflict as we have in the past."

The event is expected to last from 30 minutes to an hour, she said. The city is providing chairs for participants. 

If anyone wants more information, they may contact Murray at 205-471-5984 or email her at Bunnympost4850@gmail.com. One may also write her at Bunny Murray, VFW Auxiliary Post 4850, 1138 Old Bankhead Highway, Cordova, AL 35550. 

Murray also noted that the VFW groups will soon start organizing the annual Veterans Day Parade in Jasper, which is set to take place in November.