Vietnam2Now holds 28th annual POW/MIA candlelight ceremony
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The third Friday in September marks a National Day of Remembrance, honoring the lives of prisoners of war or have gone missing in action in the United States military.
A candlelight vigil recognizes POWs and MIAs for the 28th year Friday at the Loves Park city hall auditorium. Everyone is invited to the event and encouraged to spread the word.
The ceremony is held by the Rockford chapter of Vietnam2Now, a family friendly veterans’ organization for all veterans from Vietnam to present day.
Across WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, a total of 138,066 service members were imprisoned, 16,837 of them died. 82,982 are missing in action.
One of those lost was Alan Lee Boyer. He went MIA in 1968, his body was identified decades later in 2016.
“Our clubhouse inside there, it’s dedicated to him,” said Dr. Mike Belinson, the Vietnam2Now chairman. “He was on a patrol to rescue some people. His mother never saw him, never heard anything from him after that.”
That wasn’t the story for Bruce Jacobsen, whose father and uncle returned from WWII after they were declared MIA.
“My Grandmother showed me the letter she got,” said Jacobsen. “She thought he was killed, so she basically put the gold star up in the window. I had an uncle that was supposedly killed at Normandy turns out he wasn’t. So, she got 2 telegrams.”
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