Chair of Honor to recognize POW-MIA
Members of the local American Legion Post, Ray Freier and Sam Seymour took a moment to share insight on the inspiration behind a project that they are excited to introduce to the community.
What you see pictured between Freier and Seymour below, is a honorary chair covered with the POW*MIA Flag.
The POW*MIA flag was created for the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing as the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.
This chair of honor, built by Freier, will be placed in the bleachers at all home games beginning this fall sports season. The empty seat will stand in honor and recognition of all prisoners of war and those missing in action. The seat will be moved around, game by game and the announcer will also share a short sentiment on the chair following the national anthem at each game.
You will observe a note on the seat of the chair that reads, “This chair is reserved for our 82,000 American servicemen who are still missing. This chair will serve as a reminder of all the sacrifices made for our country by these American servicemen, who have for too long been forgotten by all but their families and friends.”
Seymour shared that this idea has been close to his heart especially after reading Patrick J. Hughes’ article, “Someone Cares, Pass It On.” Hughes shares in his article that...
“I was a Marine in the Vietnam War and stay connected to the military community through several veteran service organizations, including Rolling Thunder which raises awareness of prisoners of war and those missing in action.
At the 2012 national conference, Joe D’entremont, a Massachusetts chapter president, told us about something great he’s seen at a NASCAR racetrack.
There was a seat left purposely empty, Joe said. Next to it was a sign that said, ‘This empty chair is reserved for out 82,000 American servicemen who are still missing, This chair will serve as a reminder of all the sacrifices made for our country by these American servicemen who have for too long been forgotten by all but their families and friends.’
Joe wanted all Massachusetts sports arenas to have a chair of honor - and invited me to the July 4, 2013 chair installation ceremony at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox.
Since then, I’ve been involved with the placement of more than 65 POW*MIA Chairs of Honor in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area including the professional sports stadiums and city hall. Where can you put one in your town?”
Seymour and Freier took that question to heart and didn’t waste a second of time. The chair of honor made it’s debut in Jones County at the Murdo Ranch Rodeo in July 2018. When attending home football, volleyball and basketball games this season, keep an eye out for the chair of honor as it will be present.
As you observe the empty seat and it’s meaning, take a moment to appreciate the life you live and the price paid by many so that we might live free.