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Nearly 250 years ago a collection of statesmen, businesspeople and ordinary citizens gather for the purpose of establishing a democracy in America. Their efforts resulted in the United States Constitution. Friday, Sept. 17, is designated as National Constitution and Citizenship Day that commemorates the document that guarantees the freedom and liberty every one of us enjoy today.

There can be no greater contribution in the protection of the Constitution and our way of life than that of laying down one’s life in its defense. Through the years, Americans have fought and died defending the Constitution, however by in large it has been the American veteran that made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for their fellow countryman.

However, there are veterans who gave their life, but never came home or were held captive and tortured so severely that their lives would never be the same. We recognize them as Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA). On the third Friday each September the country honors their sacrifice and remember the families whose wounds have never healed. How appropriate that National Citizenship Day and POW/MIA Recognition Day fall on the same day this year – Sept. 17.

Missing in Action, the single most heart-breaking event than can happen to a veteran’s family and one that stays with them all their days. Since World War I, nearly 85,000 service members were sent to war never to come home. For those families “Presumption of Death,” “Body not Recoverable,” “Finding of Death,” Lost at Sea/Land,” were terms that identified the final disposition of their loved ones.

For those that suffered under man’s inhumanity to man as Prisoners of War, the torture and agony is incompressible and there are no words that can be expressed to heal those wounds; wounds that cannot be seen, but nevertheless still hurt.

The American Legion McCluskey Post 640 will be conducting a brief remembrance ceremony on Friday, September 17, at 11 a.m. in Anderson at Legion Hall, 415 Main Street. Please join in honoring these heroes.

“Poor is a nation with no heroes; shameful is the one that forgets.” (Unknown)