As National Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day approaches, a new memorial in the Kenosha County Center in Bristol will be dedicated later this month.
A POW/MIA Honor Chair will be located in the commons area at the County Center, located at the intersection of highways 45 and 50. This memorial, donated by Chapter 2 of the Wisconsin Branch of Rolling Thunder® Inc., is intended to serve as a permanent reminder of these veterans’ sacrifice.
The public is invited to a dedication ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. As a safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, facemasks will be required and physical distancing will be practiced.
This will be the second POW/MIA Honor Chair to be located in Kenosha County government facilities. The first, in the lobby outside of the County Executive’s Office and the County Board Chambers on the third floor of the county Administration Building, debuted last September.
“I am proud that Kenosha County will be able to add another one of these solemn memorials to our center of government in the western part of the county” said County Executive Jim Kreuser. “This will offer another spot for people to come and learn about, reflect on, and honor these heroes who gave their lives for our great country.”
The Chair of Honor is a perpetually empty chair, left open for those who have not returned from service.
“As of Aug. 21, 2019, the Department of Defense still lists 81,641 service members and associated civilians as being unaccounted for – missing in action – from World War II to the present,” said Steve Tindall, of Chapter 2 of the Wisconsin Branch of Rolling Thunder Inc. “This number is only slightly less than the total population of the City of Kenosha and also represents the hundreds of thousands of family members who will never receive closure for their loved ones.”
This year’s program will include speakers from Blue Star Mothers, a former Gulf War POW, representatives from Gold Star Mothers and, tentatively, Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Wetzel.
For more information about the Sept. 18 ceremony and the local Honor Chair project, please contact Tindall at 262-914-0328.
Those planning to attend the ceremony are asked to please RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 16, to County.Executive@kenoshacounty.org or by phone at 262-653-2600.