Never forget — On National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW MIA) Recognition Day, Sept. 20, the Healdsburg American Legion Post 111 held a remembrance ceremony at Santa Rosa Memorial Park.

The ceremony of recognition featured speakers State Sen. Mike McGuire, Stephen Gale representing Congressman Mike Thompson, Sonoma County District 3 Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Vietnam Veteran Gary Greenough.

McGuire discussed the importance of remembering those who have disappeared during conflicts.

Zane expressed similar thoughts and also talked about the goal of creating more housing for veterans and leaving no veterans homeless in Sonoma County. She also touched on the importance of working to bring home veteran remains.

Donna Sexton of the American Soldier Freedom Riders was also in attendance in full regalia with her 31-year-old horse Bailey.

Local Jennifer Toledo sang the National Anthem followed by an explanation of the “Missing Man Table” by American Legion Post 111 Commander Tim Madura.

The empty chair at the table signifies the absence of a returned veteran, the lit candle lights the way home, the rose signifies the blood shed in warfare and the lemon is symbolic of the bitterness felt by those who may miss a POW/MIA.

Photos Katherine Minkiewicz

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