Hawkins County American Legion Post 21 held its 6th Annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony on Friday, Sept 16, which is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The event remembered 16 prisoners of war and 15 soldiers missing in action from Hawkins County.
Members from 18 of those families were honored. James Weart was the keynote speaker.
Approximately 1,500 Americans are still missing from the Vietnam War, 7,500 from the Korean War, 72,000 from World War II, and 126 from the Cold War.
In his proclamation naming Sept. 16, 2022 as National POW/MIA Recognition Day, President Biden stated:
On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we pledge to seek out answers for the families of service members still missing in action. We commit to doing all in our power to identify and recover America’s missing sons and daughters. And we pay tribute to former prisoners of war — individuals who exhibited remarkable courage, love of country, and devotion to duty to protect our Nation’s safety and freedoms.
Today and every day, we fly the iconic black and white flag symbolizing America’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action above the White House, at the United States Capitol, on military bases, at memorials and cemeteries, and at homes across America. It is a reminder that we have not forgotten the heroism of our POWs and MIAs and that we still hope for their return. There is no undertaking more fundamental than the rite of remembrance, and there is no act more sacred or more American than keeping the faith with those who have sacrificed so much for our Nation.
On this day of heartache and of resolve, let us offer strength to the families still waiting for the return of their loved ones. Let us extend our gratitude to Americans and international partners working tirelessly to bring home our missing service members from prior conflicts. And let us remember that freedom is never free, that democracy always requires champions, and that we owe an eternal debt to the heroes of our Armed Forces.
Hawkins County MIAs and POWs
POWs and MIAs who were honored during the ceremony and their family members who were present included
• PFC Elidga Housewright (POW)
• PVT Lee S. Charles (POW)
• PVT Ross H. “Dinky” Mays (POW)
• CPL Elmer L. Smith (MIA)
• SGT McCauley Price (POW)
• PVT Kay Price (POW)
• PFC Heiskell M. Williams (MIA)
• PVT Lewis E. Price (MIA)
• PFC Lloyd Delph (POW)
• CPL James C. Greer (POW)
• SSGT Ralph C. Marshall (POW)
• PVT John Kyle Bentley (POW)
• PFC James E. Begley (MIA)
• SSGT Marion Gale Collier (MIA)
• SGT Howard B. Flowers (POW)
• PVT Lester Cross (MIA/KIA)
• PFC Paul E. Gibson (POW)
• PVT Jessie M. Carpenter (POW).