Sept. 24, 2007 -- Cadets and midshipmen from the University of Virginia Air Force, Army and Navy Reserve Officers' Training Corps stand at attention Friday during a ceremony at the McIntire Amphitheatre to remember prisoners of war and those who were declared missing in action.
The ceremony was the culmination of a 24-hour vigil, beginning Thursday afternoon, during which Air Force and Army cadets and Naval midshipmen marched across the amphitheatre stage in pairs, four cadets and/or midshipmen per hour.
Andrew Roberston, deputy commander of the Virginia American Legion, from Post 83 in Mathews, Va., addressed the ROTC units and American Legion members fired a 21-gun salute for the POWs/MIAs being honored. Friday’s ceremony was 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.