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Wreath-laying ceremony marks missing warriors' remembrance
From left, Col. Brian Killough, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, and Hank Fowler, Vietnam-era prisoner of war, pay tribute to prisoners of war and service members still missing in action during a ceremony at Maxwell's Air Park Monday. (Air Force photo/Chris Baldwin)
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Wreath-laying ceremony marks missing warriors' remembrance

Posted 9/23/2011   Updated 9/23/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Stoltz
Air University Public Affairs

9/23/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- "We will never forget" is the phrase displayed on the wreath laid on the Prisoners of War Missing in Action monument Monday morning at Maxwell's Air Park. The wreath-laying ceremony was part of National Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Recognition Day Sept. 16.

According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office's website, more than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War.

Colonel Brian Killough, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, hosted the ceremony for three former POW/MIAs, Henry "Hank" Fowler, D. Leon Bozeman and the widow of James Traylor, Helen.

"The nation pauses today to reflect on the heroism of tens-of-thousands of brave men and women who went into conflict and whose status became either missing-in-action or prisoners-of-war," Killough said. "They served and dealt with harsh conditions, confinement and loneliness, and this nation has not forgotten these former POWs and those still missing in action."

Hank Fowler, a prisoner-of-war in Hanoi, Vietnam, for almost six years, participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.

"These events may be of a somber nature, but the events are worthwhile," he said. "While in Hanoi, I took it hour by hour, day by day. My faith in my country and my fellow POWs helped me survive and overcome six years of imprisonment, and it is great to see we are still remembered."

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