BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - According to officials, there are more than 80,000 POW/MIA'S from wars dating back to the American Revolution. Tuesday local veterans and civic leaders honored those service men and women with a ceremony at the VA Hospital in Biloxi.
Everyone involved in the ceremony had one simple message to share: we will remember you.
They are being remembered at the VA hospital through a memorial chair, a chair which no one will sit in as a reminder of those who never made it home from battle.
"This chair that we dedicate at this memorial will be a reminder to all that come here to the clinic at the VA to never forget POW'S and MIA'S," said Tom Adams, American Legion Post 42 Commander and organizer of the event. "We have a commitment to both POW'S/MIA'S, as well as their families, to make sure that we are relentless in our pursuit to make sure that they are appropriately accounted for.
Another part of the ceremony is a table setting, where a wine glass is turned over meaning there's no toast. The setting also included a candle which represented lighting the way home, a lemon slice representing the bitter taste of war, and salt on a plate as a reminder of the tears that are cried.
"This is not only a way to say that those folks are not forgotten, it is our way to make sure we bring this to the nation's consciousness," said Randy Reeves, VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. For every one of our POW/MIA'S, there is a family, a father, a mother, and extended family member who waits for their return."