Every September, military services gather on campus to honor some of our nation’s most respected heroes: prisoners of war and those missing in action.These individuals make sacrifices that enable us to have the freedoms that we enjoy every day.
Some POWs have to endure inhumane torture to give up information, whereas others are simply held captive. Sen. John McCain and many others were held under horrible conditions in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam conflict. However, they did not give in to the pressure of their situations.
They found ways to avoid answering questions and came up with a code to communicate for months without seeing one another.
Those soldiers designated as MIA, however, may never turn up. Last week, a Navy board of inquiry found evidence that a pilot thought dead since the beginning of the first Iraq conflict, Operation Desert Storm in 1991, might still be alive. The board determined that the pilot, Capt. Michael “Scott” Speicher, should be designated missing/captured rather than killed in action or missing in action – both ways in which Speicher had previously been listed. Members of the Air Force ROTC will begin a vigil today at the flagpoles in front of Sadler Hall to honor these men and women.
This vigil honors not only POWs and MIAs, but all military personnel stationed around the world. Each day they encounter trials more difficult than many of us can imagine.
ROTC members will also be on hand to answer any questions that you may have about POWs, MIAs or other military matters.
So, on your way to class today, stop for a moment to think about those soldiers who sacrificed their freedoms – and often their lives – to protect your freedoms.
Associate Editor Jarod Daily for the Editorial Board