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October 03. 2013 8:31PM

Remembering POW/MIAs

Until they all come home


Participants salute flags held by a color guard during Saturday's POW/MIA ceremony at the New Hampshire Veteran's Cemetery in Boscawen (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

BOSCAWEN -- Droves of people arrived at the New Hampshire Veteran's Cemetery last Saturday to pay tribute and express love for men and women who never came home from this nation's wars.

It was POW/MIA Recognition Day at the cemetery, a day to remember those lost or captured during military conflict.

For many, it was a day to pay respect for the dozens of men and women lost and unaccounted for in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Because of your sacrifice, our country is safer, and our freedom is stronger. We are all deeply grateful," said Gov. Maggie Hassan.

It was also a day to passionately renew vows to bring POWs and those missing in action home.

"We are keeping hope alive, the people of New Hampshire will never give up on you," Hassan said.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said more action must be taken to rescue and return POWs and MIAs, including those known to be held, like Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho, who has been a captive of the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2009.

"We must do better and we can do better for our POWs and MIAs," Ayotte said. "We pray that the Taliban will release him, and that he will be able to enjoy a beautiful day like this."

Ivan Eaton of Seabrook spent three years in a North Korean prison. He said he was honored by the tributes, and encouraged by the passion expressed by many.

"If we can even get one POW back ...," he said, not finishing his sentence.

Tara Sue Myers of Wakefield came for support. Her grandfather and father were both soldiers. She has a brother serving in Afghanistan, another serving in Kuwait, and another brother just came home after serving in Iraq.

Myers said she felt comfort among the military and their families, though she hopes to never come back because one of her brothers becomes missing.

"It's hard, they keep going back, and I just have to hope they return," she said. "You always have that fear, you roll the dice so many times."

dseufert@newstote.com


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