Flag-raising to honor POWs, missing in action

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WALLA WALLA — The Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center will present a special flag-raising ceremony on the parade grounds Friday at 10 a.m. to honor those imprisoned in war or missing in action.
Over the past several years, all or most of the 50 states have proclaimed a POW/MIA Recognition Day in conjunction with the national effort.
The public is invited to attend.
To commemorate the annual honoring of such veterans, VA officials will raise a new POW/MIA flag and host AMVETS Post 1111, VFW Posts 992 and 466 and American Legion Post 32 will be present with flags from their posts to form a color guard.
The Walla Walla High School ROTC will also participate.
A reception will follow at the VA theater, Building 78, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tri-City veteran Jim Bogart will be on hand to talk to people about his prisoner-of-war experiences from the infamous Bataan Death March during World War II.
Bogart spent more than three years imprisoned in the Philippines and was reduced to a weight of 90 pounds while laboring in slave-like conditions.
Also included in the day’s event is a "Missing Man" presentation, in which a small table is set for one and is placed in a prominent area.
"This ‘empty table’ is a way of symbolizing the fact that members are missing from our midst ... They are unable to be with us. They are remembered because of their incarceration," said VA spokeswoman Linda Wondra.
"The table set for one is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors."
For more information, call Wondra at 525-5200, ext. 22811.

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