Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts took part in a ceremony at Western Nebraska Community College Friday morning officially declaring today POW/MIA Recognition Day in Nebraska.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is an observance that honors whose who were prisoners of war (POW) as well as those who are still missing in action (MIA). It is observed in the United States on the third Friday in September.
The ceremony included the presentation of colors by the Scottsbluff High School Air Force Jr. ROTC, an explanation of the Missing Man Table by WNCC Instrumental Music instructor and Sergeant First Class with the Colorado National Guard Dr. Nathaniel Johnson, and a speech from Jerry Lucas, a Vietnam War veteran.
One of Lucas’s roles during the war included processing overseas placement records, which sent troops to Vietnam.
Lucas later found out one of the records he processed was of his best friend being sent to war, where he was later killed in combat.
To cope with the trauma, Lucas wrote a poem titled, ‘The Last Retreat,’ which will be included in his speech at the ceremony.
Before signing a proclamation declaring Friday POW/MIA Recognition day in the state, Governor Ricketts reflected on those who have been impacted by the losses.
He also related the story of Army Sgt. Lenord Chinn, who was captured and held in several North Korean POW camps before his death in 1950.
Recent advances in DNA analysis from the Department of Armed Services and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System were able to accurately identify Chinn’s remains.
Chin was laid to rest this past Wednesday in Silver Creek, Nebraska.