The American Legion of Montana
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Lewis and Clark Post No. 2 Dedicates
POW/MIA "Chair of Honor" at Kindrick Legion Field
"Today is May 17, Armed Forces Day. We come together as a community to recognize all veterans in attendance for their strength, courage and service to the United States of America.
We pause to remember those who served our country and paid the ultimate price doing so.
We thank the families and friends of those who served and are serving today. We hope you feel our pride, respect and gratitude for your service and sacrifice.
Since WWII, more than 83,000 Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (also known as POW/MIAs) are still unaccounted for.
This "Chair of Honor" at Kindrick Legion Field will be a reminder to all who see it of the sacrifices endured by members of the Armed Forces of the United States – especially those who were held as prisoners of war or remain missing in action. It will remain unoccupied until all are brought home or accounted for.
There are 55 Montana POW/MIAs still unaccounted for:
8 from WWII
28 from Korea
18 from Vietnam
And one from the Cold War
Their friends and loved ones still have faith and hold on to hope.
It is a tremendous honor for us to be here today, dedicating a permanent tribute to POW/MIAs.
At the request of individuals working to ensure American service members listed as Prisoners of War or Missing in Action are not forgotten, the members of American Legion Lewis and Clark Post No. 2 and officials with the City of Helena agreed a memorial chair could be installed in this ballpark. A place in the grandstand behind home plate was chosen for this tribute to feature the POW/MIA "Chair of Honor" with a plaque commemorating the sacrifices made by U.S. troops serving our nation.
Let this "Chair of Honor" serve as a reminder to our community and all baseball fans – this is a memorial to those who served in the military of our great Nation.
This is for the men and women who so bravely fought for our country and are missing in action or are prisoners of war, including the one POW/MIA from Hayley, Idaho, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, US Army, missing in action: June 30th, 2009, in Afghanistan.
We now unveil and dedicate the Kindrick Legion Field POW/MIA "Chair of Honor".
While it’s the first such designated "Chair of Honor" in a sports stadium in Helena, advocates hope it will not be the last.
To those who work for our veterans and their families: we can do more.
As we go back to the activities and routines of our lives, let us make a promise to spare no effort to do whatever it takes – so the sacrifices of those who have served and those who continue to serve will not be forgotten.
We gratefully acknowledge sponsors who helped make this "Chair of Honor possible:
West Side Welding,
Pacific Steel and Recycling,
Call Industries Custom Coatings,
and, Trophy Case."
(The above text was read over the Kindrick Legion Field public address system at 12:30 pm, shortly before the start of the second game in an American Legion Baseball double-header: Helena Senators vs. Gallatin Valley Outlaws.)
Please CLICK HERE to take the American Legion Extension Institute online. It is a great way to learn the history and inner workings of the American Legion. Upon completion, National Headquarters will send you a certificate and a very nice pin signifying your accomplishment. Please contact Department HQ with any questions or any issues getting started.