Jay VFW Post announces annual POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony, September 16

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JAY – The Frank L. Mitchell VFW Post 3335, AMVETS Lane Dube Post 33, and American Legion Post 10, and their Auxiliaries will hold the annual public POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, September 16, at 10 a.m., at the POW/MIA Memorial on the corner of Route 4 and Riley Road in Jay, Maine.

All members, Veterans, guests, and public are invited to attend! Event will occur, rain or shine. The memorial is located on 12 Riley Road, near the intersection of RT 4 and Riley road, at the beginning of the Memorial Bridge crossing the Androscoggin River. Ample parking is available beside the SKI DEPOT, and across road at the RIVERSIDE QUICK STOP. Limited mobility parking and seating will be available if displaying handicap emblem.

This year marks the 32nd consecutive year that the POW/MIA ceremony has occurred. Ceremony will include: the arrival of the United Bikers of Maine and American Legion riders, under escort of local Sheriffs and Police Departments; recognition of local POW/MIAs; laying of wreath; local Spruce Mt Highschool singers and musicians performing patriotic songs led by Jan and Tom Gill; and local Firing Squad and Honor Guard units. Rendering colors this year will be the Civil Air Patrol Cadets of Maine.

“This year’s event will include lots of participation from our community’s young future leaders. We will have in the ceremony Civil Air Patrol color guard, and local students singing the National Anthem,” says Post Judge Advocate Jim Manter. “Local musicians Jan and Tom Gill will begin performing patriotic themed music at starting approximately 9:45 a.m. The ceremony will officially begin once the bikers arrive, and all riders are safely parked, approximately 10 a.m.”

Manter notes, “Maine DOT and the Town of Jay have again agreed to close the Memorial Bridge to traffic, from approximately 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. This will allow safety of attendees moving from the parking area to the Memorial. This means that the Crash Road will be closed to through traffic at corner of Riley Road and Crash Road, and the Riley Road will be closed at the junction with Route 4. This is being done for the safety of our Attendees and Ceremony participants. We certainly hope the public is understanding of the brief inconvenience of the road closure, while we honor our POW/MIAs.”

“The support of the Androscoggin, Franklin Sheriff’s Department, and Jay/Livermore Falls Police Department is so appreciated,” states Dave Lachapell, VFW Post Quartermaster.

This year will include a special guest speaker, from the Department of POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), from Hawaii. Manter adds, “DPAA is the Agency that is responsible for finding, locating, recovering, identifying, and then re-patriating our Missing In Action Americans to their families.”

“This is indeed an honor to have them at our community POW/MIA event, and a first for the agency to come to Maine!” Manter comments.

As well, this years Guests of Honor will include Maine family members that had POWs and members that were re-patriated in the past year.
The annual POW/MIA ceremony is performed as a time-honored event to salute the veterans and families of the missing who continue to keep the candle of hope alive. The ceremony is normally celebrated on the National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is always the 3rd Friday of September.

According to VFW Post 3335 Commander Rick Merrill, “Since WW II, more than 83,000 military men and women are missing or unaccounted for, and never made it home. This ceremony is to recognize the sacrifice and dedication of our military members and families, that we shall never forget them”.

The Jay VFW Post invites the public to please join them for this important community ceremony.

You may contact VFW Post 3335 for more information at 897-5112.

For more information on United States Prisoners of War and Missing In Action, please visit the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) website at: www.dpaa.mil

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