FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Our nation’s veterans have always fought with courage and honor, risking their lives to protect the American values of freedom and democracy. Many of our men and women in uniform have been wounded, many severely disabled, and many have lost their lives in the service of our country. A very particular sacrifice has been made by those who have served as prisoners of war and for those men and women in uniform who are missing in action, along with their families. because the Sumter community has been host to a military facility—Shaw Air Force Base—for approximately seventy years, the citizens of Sumter have too frequently grieved with the families of soldiers and airmen lost in combat and whose status remained unknown, and have rejoiced with those families when any of those lost warriors returned to Sumter and Shaw. especially in the Vietnam Conflict, quite a few Airmen from Shaw found themselves prisoners of war, and their spouses and families who suffered through extended separations were active in founding the “POW/MIA movement”, with its bracelets and motto: “Don’t wear it unless you want to get involved,” and which focused the attention of our country on the plight of men and women who were being treated brutally by their captors, contrary to the rules of the Geneva Convention. On this day, it is appropriate to express our gratitude to all servicemen and women who have served our country, but with special regard to those who have been prisoners of war and to those who are still missing in action, and the families of these men and women.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Joseph T. McElveen, Jr., Mayor of the City of Sumter, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 16, 2011 as
"NATIONAL POW/MIA DAY"
CITY OF SUMTER
and encourage all citizens to recognize and honor our nation’s veterans for their many contributions to the preservation of the American way of life, with special acknowledgement of those who have served as prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action, thanking them all for their many contributions to the preservation of the American way of life.
Joseph T. McElveen, Jr., Mayor