In 1979 Congress and the president passed and signed resolutions marking the 3rd Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
To commemorate that day our American Legion post hosted a POW/MIA flag raising ceremony on Friday, September 20th followed by a silent flag line on the sidewalk around the edge of the property, along Broadway and Cosby Highway at the Cocke County Memorial Building.
We had in attendance guest speakers that included State Representative Jeremy Faison, County Mayor Crystal Ottinger and City Mayor Roland Dykes.
Also present were representatives from Representative Phil Roe’s office, DAV Chapter 102, AMVETS Post 75, DAR, Quilts of Valor, Cocke County High School Navy Junior ROTC, and Smokey Mountain Home Health.
In my opinion, POW/MIA Recognition Day is the second most important day for Veterans after Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and have returned home to their loved ones.
POW/MIA Day recognizes those who have not returned home at all, or those who were held captive during their service to our country and have returned home.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are 83,114 Americans who fought in our wars still missing. We must never forget them because as it has been said of others in different situations, “But for the grace of God, there go 1.”
Hopefully as we go forward with other events, such as our upcoming Centennial Open House on October 26, we will get the word out to the county residents that our post is active again and here to help the needs of the entire community, but most importantly to support veterans.
David C. Mills
Commander Newport American Legion Post 41