Former WW II POWs to be given tribute
Four former World War II prisoners of war will be honored at the Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home at Friday, Sept. 19. To be held in the home’s chapel, the event will include a presentation of the formal POW/MIA Table Ceremony by the VFW Post 7211 Ladies Auxiliary.
“The MIA/POW Table is an incredibly moving ceremony, and carries a lot of meaning for veterans and non-veterans alike,” said Jerry Patterson, Chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board. “We invite the public to come and honor those who have served and remember those still unaccounted for.”
One of the POWs is a resident at the Watkins-Logan home, and two others are from other nursing homes in Tyler. Out of 73 residents at the Watkins-Logan home, 19 are World War II veterans.
Sen. John Cornyn’s East Texas regional director Louellen Lowe will present congratulatory letters from Cornyn to each of the former POWs. Karl Little, Survivor Outreach Services Support Coordinator of the Armed Forces Reserve Center, will also make a presentation at the event. There will be refreshments following the ceremony and presentations.
The formal POW/MIA Table Ceremony is a traditional part of military dinners, service balls, and remembrance ceremonies. A narration accompanies the seder-style presentation of each element on the table. The elements include a red rose, yellow ribbon, lemon slice, salt, upside-down glass, candle, Bible and empty chair – each of which carries a symbolic meaning.
“If you’ve never seen an MIA/POW Table before, it will move you every time,” said Donna Huffman, representative for the Logan-Watkins home.
Texas State Veterans Homes are where honor lives. The Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home, in Tyler, is one of eight Texas State Veterans Homes operated by the Texas VLB. For more information on services available to Texas Veterans call 1-800-252-VETS (8387) or visit www.texasveterans.com.