Veterans gather at Indiana World War Memorial for POW / MIA Recognition Day Ceremony

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INDIANAPOLIS — Veterans across Indiana gathered outside the War Memorial and Museum Saturday as part of POW / MIA Recognition Day.

The ceremony was highlighted by somber tributes to all fallen, missing in action, and prisoner of war service members. Members of Rolling Thunder, Inc., Indiana Chapter One set up a ceremonial Missing Man Table to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The table consists of six empty chairs, representing Americans from each of the military branches – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard – and civilians who were and still are missing in action.

The event’s keynote speaker, Michael Emery, told the story of his uncle William who was declared lost at sea after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The ship’s sinking marks its 76th Anniversary this year.

“To all of our POW / MIA loved ones that did not come home, we will see them later,” Emery said.

The ceremony took multiple moments to recognize the 13 service members killed in Afghanistan during a bombing at the Kabul Airport. In front of the speaker’s podium were 13 “boots on the ground,” paying tribute to those service members. Center was a tribute to Logansport native Marine Cpl Humberto Sanchez, who was one of the fallen in the attack. 

Lining the grass were flags honoring the state’s fallen heroes, with each flag representing 1,725 prisoners of war or those missing in action from Indiana.

Also in attendance was Mayor Joe Hogsett, emphasizing the importance of remembering those who gave their lives for this country.

“We must care for those who have selflessly served our country and keep the legacies of those whose fates are still unknown, part of our city’s history,” Hogsett said. “I ask all citizens to join me in this observation: we remember them.”

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