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Illinois POW/MIA service men are remembered

Yvonne Boose
Attendees of the POW/MIA remembrance event in Loves Park.

The third Friday in September is POW/MIA Recognition Day. The National League of POW/MIA Families estimates over 1,500 U.S. service members who served overseas are not accounted for. Sixty-five of those are from Illinois. A recent ceremony took place honoring the state’s missing heroes.

The remembrance ceremony was pre-recorded. Friends and family sat in a dark room at Loves Park City Hall to watch the video.

Army veteran Craig Haynie said he hopes for the day when the service members are all accounted for.

“I think it means a lot for people to remember the service members who gave so much,” he said, “and haven't made it home the missing in action. And I was very touched by how many names from Illinois are still missing an action. John Tuttle is also an army veteran. Tuttle was the MC for the recorded ceremony. He said when the event was planned, they weren’t sure if COVID-19 rates would continue to subside.

“So, we thought well, maybe we better just go and case you know, we have a resurgence of it or something,” Tuttle explained. “So, we went ahead this year, but I'm pretty sure we're going to be back to a live program again next year.”

The event was organized by the group Vietnam2Now. More information about this group can be found on Facebook.

Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.