U.Va. Ceremony to Honor MIAs and POWs

September 19, 2007

Sept. 19, 2007 -- This Friday, University of Virginia units from the Air Force, Army and Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs will honor prisoners of war, or those who were declared missing in action.

The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m., at the McIntire Amphitheatre. It will feature guest speaker Andrew Roberston, deputy commander of American Legion Post 83 in Mathews, Va.

The ceremony is the culmination of a 24-hour vigil, beginning Thursday afternoon, during which cadets will march across the amphitheatre stage in pairs, four cadets per hour. The stage and amphitheatre stairs will be lit with luminarias. A black-and-white POW/MIA flag will be draped over the back of the stage and lit by a spotlight.

Friday’s ceremony will be held on the national day of remembrance for POWs and MIAs. The first official commemoration of POW/MIAs was July 18, 1979, as the result of resolutions passed in Congress. In 1986, the National League of Families proposed the third Friday in September as a day to recognize and remember POW/MIAs.

In event of rain, the ceremony will be held in McLeod Hall auditorium.