Area students take lead in honoring POW/MIAs
Young people from fourth graders to high school seniors will take the lead Friday in honoring former prisoners of war and those still listed as missing in action.
The Prescott VA medical center will present its annual POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday in the Building 15 theater. The public is invited.
Michelle Sisson, who won a first place essay award from the American Legion, will serve as master of ceremonies. She is a fourth grader at Lincoln Elementary School.
"Among us today are amazing individuals who were willing to sacrifice greatly in the pursuit of freedom," she wrote.
Now, Sisson believes, it is her responsibility, "and the responsibility of every American citizen, to remember. Most of all, to promise that you and your loved ones shall not be forgotten.
"A long as someone remembers the sacrifice that you and your families have made, the flame of that sacrifice still burns. As long as one American is still thankful, the light of your deeds still burns," she said in her essay "I Thank Veterans for My Freedom."
Jennifer Brink, a high school senior from Kingman, will offer the invocation representing the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary, Unit 10.
Jacqueline Mench, an eighth grader from Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, will lead the Pledge of Alliance, and Brittney Brooks, also a student in Kingman, will accompany Mench with sign language for the hearing impaired.
Kingman's Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary recently named Brooks, who is 10 years old, National Junior Miss for their unit.
Whitney Grovenstein, a senior at Bradshaw Mountain High School, is guest speaker.
Grovenstein attended International Rotary Youth Leadership Training, Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Training, Arizona Boys' State and the National Youth Forum on Defense, Intelligence and Diplomacy. A National Honor Society member, he hopes to attend one of our country's military academies.
The Prescott High School High Lytes, directed by Amy Van Winkle, will perform during the POW/MIA program.
The United States started honoring its POW/MIAs in 1979. Now national ceremonies take place throughout the country and around the world at military installations, ships, at schools, churches, and veterans' facilities.
Commemoration ceremonies are designed to show support for those people who serve in our nation's military and to bring attention to continuing to account for those who did not return from previous wars.