Hosted by the Frank L. Mitchell VFW Post 3335, AMVETS Lane Dube Post 33, and American Legion Post 10, and their auxiliaries, along with the Farmington VFW Post 10881, the annual POW/MIA (Prisoner of War and Missing in Action) Recognition Ceremony is open to members of the posts, guests, and the public. The event will occur rain or shine.
The memorial is located at 12 Riley Road, near the intersection of Route 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 the road at the Riverside Quick Stop.
This year marks the 31st consecutive year that the POW/MIA ceremony has occurred. The ceremony will include the arrival of the United Bikers of Maine and American Legion riders, under escort of local law enforcement; recognition of local POW/MIAs; laying of wreath; local school singers and musicians performing patriotic songs; and local Firing Squad and Honor Guard units.
“This year’s event will include participation of our young future leaders. We will have in the ceremony Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol color guard, and local students singing the National Anthem,” Post Judge Advocate Jim Manter said. “Local musicians Jan and Tom Gill will begin performing patriotic themed music at 6 p.m. The ceremony will officially begin once the bikers arrive, and all riders are safely parked, approximately 6:15 p.m.”
Manter notes, “Maine DOT and the Town of Jay have agreed to close the Memorial Bridge to traffic, from approximately 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. 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 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 third 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 public is invited to join this important community ceremony.
For more information on this event, contact the VFW Post 3335 at 897-5112.
For more information on United States POW/MIA, please visit the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency website at: http://www.dpaa.mil/