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: National POW/MIA Recognition Day was celebrated in Bergen, as it was throughout the nation, with a solemn gathering Friday that included former prisoners of war.
“[It’s] a day of remembrance for our missing soldiers and those held as prisoners of war,” said Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire (far left), a veteran US Army MP, after Friday’s breakfast at the Fiesta on Route 17 with VFW representatives from throughout the county.
“Today, let us pay tribute to all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our country and for our freedom,” he said.
Those attending the morning event in Wood-Ridge included Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney (suited).
“We will never forget those who sacrificed for their country and didn’t come back,” Bill Thompson, state commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told the nearly 100 attendees.
There are nearly 88,000 American servicemen and women listed as prisoners of war and missing in action who haven’t been recovered and identified since World War II, records show. That includes more than 1,700 listed as still missing from the Vietnam War. The nationwide celebration honors them.
The first recognition day for those returned and those still missing and unaccounted for from our nation’s wars was held only a decade ago, at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It became a national event in 1995, proclaimed each year since by the President.
The National League of Families proposed the third Friday in September as the date, so it wouldn’t be associated with any particular war and not in conjunction with any POW organizations’ conventions.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremonies are now held throughout the nation and around the world on military installations, ships at sea, schools, churches and fire stations.
“The focus is to ensure that America remembers its responsibility to stand behind those who serve our nation and do everything possible to account for those who do not return,” according to the
National League of POW/MIA Families
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