Candlelight vigil to be held to honor, remember POWs/MIAs

Stan Shurmantine, with MNVM in Perryville, explains why National POW/MIA Recognition Day is held & details about their candlelight vigil Friday night.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 9:05 AM CDT
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Friday, September 16 is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

In honor of American service members who were prisoners of war and those still missing in action, Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial (MNVM) in Perryville is holding a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m.

Candles will be provided and the vigil will take place at the memorial wall.

Organizers say the vigil will be a quiet remembrance.

“We want to honor all POWs and MIAs,” said Stan Shurmantine, with MNVM. “Tonight we’ll have a candlelight vigil, not really much of a ceremony, it’s more of a reflection down at the wall. There are 1,582 names on the wall who are still missing. Every effort will be made and find them.”

Shurmantine also said he will be shedding light on some individuals forgotten by most.

Since 1989, the nation has been called to honor and remember POWs/MIAs from all wars and conflicts every third Friday in September.

The POW/MIA Flag is flown this day at national landmarks, government buildings, military and post offices and at all VA medical centers and national cemeteries.

The national recognition day is also to assure families of the missing and imprisoned that their loved one is not forgotten and efforts are being made to bring them home.

Anyone who can not attend the vigil in Perryville can show their support in another way.

“The best thing to do is fly the POW/MIA flag,” said Shurmantine. “This is one of six days the government mandates government buildings fly the POW/MIA flag.”

According to the Pentagon’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) the remains of nearly 82,00 Americans are still missing.

The DPAA says about 75 percent of those missing are somewhere in the Asia-Pacific. More than 41,000 have been presumed lost at sea.