by Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny Park
A major theme of the recently re-opened First Division Museum at Cantigny Park is “Our Soldiers,” a reminder that all our service-members are ours. We must care about their welfare, about where they go and why and we must welcome them home. But some do not return. In the conflicts from World War II to the present, more than 82,000 Americans are still missing in action. To help keep them in the public’s (and government’s) mind, we at Cantigny Park are observing National POW/MIA Recognition Day on September 15. We will proudly fly the National League of Families black and white POW/MIA flag and we will remind our fellow citizens of our solemn responsibility to bring these people home.
Fortunately, our government is making progress. There is a permanent agency dedicated to accounting for, identifying and recovering the missing – the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Underfunded and under staffed, it has nonetheless accounted for 132 missing service-members just in 2017. A look at their photo gallery reminds us that these missing Americans were once very much among us – they were, they are, Our Soldiers. They gave their all for us – now we need to do our all to bring them home.