Ho'okele Staff | Sep 14, 2012
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command will honor the nation’s heroes and commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 21 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).
This year’s program will be led by Johnie Webb, JPAC deputy to the commander for public relations and legislative affairs.
The keynote speaker, retired Army Col. William S. Reeder Jr., was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. During his second tour in Vietnam, Reeder was shot down and captured on May 9, 1972 by the communist North Vietnamese while on a combat mission in South Vietnam.
He was released on March 27, 1973 after being held captive for nearly a year.
Highlights this year include a wreath-laying ceremony, speeches and a rendition of Taps played in honor of former prisoners of war and those still missing in action.
The ceremony is free and open to the public. Organizations are welcome to participate in the wreath cer emony by laying a wreath or flowers. R.S.V.P. to Elizabeth Feeney no later than noon Sept. 19.
Appropriate attire for the event is military Class B or service equivalent or civilian casual or aloha wear.
Falling directly under the U.S. Pacific Command and employing more than 450 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the more than 83,000 Americans still missing from past conflicts.
Since 2003, JPAC has identified more than 740 Americans. Combined with the efforts of its predecessor units, close to 1,830 Americans have been identified since the accounting effort began in the 1970s.
The ultimate goal of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, and of the agencies involved in returning America’s heroes home, is to conduct global search, recovery, and laboratory operations in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts.
For more information, call Feeney at 448-1937 or visit JPAC’s website www.jpac.pacom.mil.