POW-MIA soldiers recognized in U.P. ceremony

IRON MOUNTAIN — In honor of National POW–MIA Recognition Day, the public gathered for an annual ceremony to remember those special heroes.

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain hosted the moving ceremony at the Pine Grove Country Club earlier this afternoon.

The American Legion Post Fifty color guard was in attendance along with several community members and motorcyclists from around the area. Between the U.P. and Northern Wisconsin, 14 former POW’s are still alive, most of whom served in either World War II or the Korean War.

“They’re special because they have experienced something that most American service men and women have not, even those who have been in combat, and that is having their freedom taken away,” Public Affairs Officer Brad Nelson said. “They’ve been behind barbed wire, or as in case of one of our POW’s, been lined up in front of German Machine guns with the threat of being shot. These men have lived to tell about it, but many more have not.”

The special day has been celebrated on the third Friday of September nationwide since 1979.

“Well, it’s nice to meet all the people and nice to get to the ceremony.”

“I think it’s a nice tribute to those who can’t be there to speck for themselves because they’re missing so I think it’s nice they remember them.”

Nelson added that it’s important to hold this ceremony so we can honor those that are still living, remember those that have passed on and not forget about those that are still missing in action.