By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Four members of American Legion Post 90 in Atmore stationed themselves along Atmore’s busiest intersection last Friday, September 15, in commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday in September each year, and the local Legionnaires — Post Commander Dave Graham, Post Adjutant Paul Chason and members Billy Elder and Harold Madison — held black POW/MIA flags with the message, “You Are Not Forgotten,” and waved at passing motorists for more than two hours.
Graham said the response was a good, solid one.
“It’s been great,” the post commander said. “Most everyone recognizes us, and they wave, give us a hug, tell us thanks for our service. Today is for the POWs and the MIAs, so we came out here for a couple hours.”
Chason said the response from the public — including a steady stream of horn “beeps,” hand waves and even some salutes — was a unique experience.
“It’s been humbling and heart-warming,” Chason said. “We got some ‘thumbs-ups,’ and we even got a couple salutes — you try to hurry and return those before the vehicle is gone. It’s really heart-warning to see so many people who have come by who waved, blew the horn or just smiled.”
According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 81,000 American servicemen or servicewomen are still listed as prisoners of war or missing in action. About 75 percent of those served in the Indo-Pacific region.
Graham and Chason agreed that it is as important to remember those who never came back from war as it is to honor those who fought and returned home, and to remember those who were killed and whose bodies were returned.
“This is for those who didn’t come back,” Graham said.