Veterans Working to Honor POW/MIAs With Chair in Each Mass. Town
On Friday, Wakefield became the latest Mass. town to unveil a ceremonial new chair honoring those who have been prisoners of war or gone missing in action.
The town of Wakefield unveiled a commemorative chair Friday to honor those military personnel who have been prisoners of war or gone missing in action. The new chair is located for now next to the main entrance of town hall, although it will be moved to other places in town, such as schools, in the coming months - and it's also part of a statewide effort to see similar chairs installed in town halls throughout Massachusetts.
Local veterans, elected officials and law enforcement personnel participated in Friday's ceremony.
Veterans of many generations and numerous wars were on hand - and one particularly distinguished guest was 91-year-old Albert Romano, a World War II bombardier who spent 11 months in a Nazi POW camp in Romania after being shot down during a bombing mission over the oil fields of Benghazi, Libya during the battle for North Africa.
Joe D'Entremont, president of the local chapter of the veterans organization Rolling Thunder, told Patch.com that about 20 towns in Massachusetts, including nearby Saugus and Melrose, have now committed to install one of these chairs, which help honor and remember the 91,000 Americans who have gone missing in action since World War I.
The organization hopes to see one of these chairs placed in every Massachusetts municipality. POW/MIA chairs have also been placed at Gillette Stadium, LeLacheur Stadium in Lowell (home of the Spinners), with one expected at TD Garden this year.
So far, Wakefield's POW/MIA chair is distinctive in that is the only one expected to be displayed in different places in its town.
"We want to reach the youngsters and let them know there's thousands and thousands who have gone to war and never come home," said D'Entremont.