The members of the Marvin Lee Ferguson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4850 Ladies Auxiliary will host its annual POW/MIA vigil Friday on the steps of the Walker County Courthouse. The event is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. and will include singing, prayer, a time of remembrance and a balloon release.
The third Friday of September has long since been designated as POW/MIA Recognition Day in the United States and many Americans take this time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are still missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.
Paulette Murray, president of VFW Post 4850 Ladies Auxiliary said this was the second year the Ladies Auxiliary has hosted the local event at the courthouse.
“The courthouse square will be decorated with black and white balloons, and we’re asking local businesses and citizens to decorate with black and white balloons as well,” Murray said. “We’re also asking anyone with a POW/MIA flag to fly it on Friday as well.”
There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. The number of United States personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 841.
About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control, according to the National League of Families website cited on the United States Army website.
“We want this to be an event the whole community could rally around each year and show support for the POWs and MIAs from Walker County and from all around our country,” Murray said.