Hey guys! :)
Sorry – this post is going up at a weird time. I should have written it ahead of time (like last week would've been nice), but yesterday it just didn't happen among school, a funeral, fall decorations, and When Calls the Heart (first time ever, folks, and I love it). But without further ado, let's jump right in. ^_^
Do you know what today is? If you read the title of this post, you probably have a pretty good guess.
Up until this past spring, this day – the third Friday of September – wasn't anything special in my mind. But then I came across the story I'm about to share with you,...another story (which I'll mention and link to)...and an article in our local newspaper.
Today is POW/MIA recognition day, the day we fly the POW/MIA flag (I mean, someone does. I don't have personally own one. XP). The one day a year set aside to remember those prisoners of war and missing in action soldier who never came back to American soil.
This spring, while in a WWII-mood (when am I not?) I was reading Faith Under Fire by Stephen Rabey. And I came across a story about a man named Newt Heisley. Mr. Heisley, a WWII vet, designed the POW/MIA flag in the early ‘70s.
In 1971, while the Vietnam War was still being fought, Mary Helen Hoff, the wife of a service member missing in action and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of U.S. POW/MIAs, some of whom had been held captivity for as many as seven years. The flag is black, and bears in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the league. The emblem was designed by Newt Heisley, and features a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley, Newt Heisley’s son, a returning Vietnam veteran), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: "You are not Forgotten." The POW/MIA was flown over the White House for the first time in September 1982.
>> Borrowed from Wikipedia.
The second source I came across earlier this year, Finally Home by Deborah Raney, tells the story of a returning, injured Vietnam veteran. It was in this that I first learned about the bracelets. (Seriously, those elementary/middle grade history books overlooked so much.)
These metal bracelets worn by anyone who so wished too, starting during the Vietnam war. A name was engraved into it, a name of a soldier who was missing or prisoner of war. The person wearing the bracelet was not to take it off their wrist until the soldier, most likely a complete stranger to them, was found. The metal band served as a visual reminder of those left behind. Some people wore those bracelets for over twenty years.
There was an article in our local newspaper a few months back about Vietnam vets. Did you know there are still many men who fought in the Vietnam war and aren't accounted for even now? Their families don't know for certain if they are dead, POW, or MIA. That is so sad! They fought for our country. They deserve better. They deserve to be remembered and honored.
Remember our POWs and MIA soldiers today and always. Both those who eventually came home and those who didn't. Pray for them and their families.
P.S. The seventh Imagine This challenge was scheduled to end today, but I have decided to leave it open through the weekend. :) So if you would still like to enter you have through Monday night!
**All photos borrowed from Pinterest.
**This is a ‘double post’ which is going up here and at Stories by Firefly.