Northland Vietnam Veterans honor POW and MIA service members

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On Friday, the Northland Vietnam Veterans honored the sacrifices of veterans who were prisoners of war (POW) as well as those who are declared missing in action (MIA).

“As far as missing in action, one of the tenants of a military person is that leave no one behind and if the circumstances were changed, they would be honoring us the same way. That’s that’s just a bond between military personnel to military personnel,” said Presiding Officer of the ceremony, Dwight Nelson. “And it doesn’t matter which branch of the service it is as far as prisoners of war. Majority of them had been killed as prisoners. Also, the ones that came back came back with horrific stories.”

Since 1986, the third Friday of September has been declared a national day of remembrance for National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Each year, there is a pentagon ceremony featuring members of each branch of military service.

The Northland Vietnam Veterans held their ceremony at the Northland Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Duluth Lakewalk. This public event was created to honor their sacrifice as well as the sacrifices of their families.

There are still 82,000 Americans declared missing.

“We want to honor and respect, show respect to these men. And another thing, and not so much for us. It’s for their families who don’t have closure. Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and so many cases wives and probably children to serve, and no other other than we live in a great country where we are able to honor men like that and not hide those numbers,” said Nelson. “It’s a tragedy that happened, but we don’t hide it and we honor them.”