Wing honors prisoners of war and those still missing with 24-hour vigil

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kevin Brown
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Team Vance Airmen held a 24-hour vigil to honor prisoners of war and those service members still missing in action Sept. 1 and 2 in recognition of POW/MIA Remembrance Day. 

For a day and a night, uniformed Airmen with the 71st Flying Training Wing marched around the Base Track carrying Old Glory and the POW/MIA flag. 

The vigil ended Sept. 2 with a ceremony featuring Vietnam Veteran Bill Cooley who shared his perspective on honoring POWs and remembering the missing. 

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, as of Sept. 3, more than 81,600 Americans remain missing from conflicts since World War II. 

POW/MIA vigils provide an opportunity to remember and honor those who have served, according the agency. A vigil is held for 24 hours, symbolizing the United States’ constant efforts to recover and repatriate American heroes. The walk around the track symbolizes searching in all directions for those missing in action.