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Penn State To Host Annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony September 16

Penn State will host its annual Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Remembrance Ceremony from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 16, at Old Main Lawn.

The free vigil is open to the public with a special invitation to military veterans and family members of those serving in the United States armed forces. Friday also marks the National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which honors those who have not returned home.

Originally organized by Penn State veterans of the Vietnam War roughly 35 years ago, the vigil is now spearheaded by the Harry R. Armstrong Squadron, Penn State’s Air Force ROTC chapter of the Arnold Air Society.

“At Penn State, we feel it is important for us to come together as a community and to take the time to remember those who went to war on behalf of our nation and have not yet returned as they are missing in action,” Eugene McFeely, Penn State’s senior director for the veterans affairs and service and chair of Penn State’s Military Appreciation Committee, said.

“This ceremony acknowledges our national responsibility to account for those who are POW/MIA and to ensure that they are not forgotten and one day return home,” McFeely continued.

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, ROTC cadets and Honor Guards will start their 24-hour protection of the missing-man table, which will end Saturday, September 17. The table will pay tribute to prisoners of war and those missing in action.

There will also be performances by Penn State Air Force ROTC’s a cappella group, the Wild Blue Yonder, as well as speakers, a performance of taps, and a 21-gun salute by members of the American Legion.

Penn State will raise the POW/MIA flag to half-staff and lower the American flag to half-staff to honor those who were unable to return home.

The vigil will be moved indoors to the Freeman Auditorium in the HUB in the event of inclement weather.

In addition to the vigil, Penn State will honor veteran and active members of its faculty and staff through various campus events, such as the military appreciation football game on Saturday, November 12.

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About the Author

Megan Kelby

Megan Kelby is a junior at Penn State majoring in journalism. She is from the great state of Delaware and does not tolerate any 302 slander. Megan is a fan of Sudoku, music, and rocket pops. If you feel the need to, you can email her at

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