CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — A ceremony at dusk will unveil the latest additions to the POW/MIA Memorial at the Cedar Bluff Overlook Park.
Several groups and individuals have joined together for improvements to the Memorial and plan to showcase them during a ceremony 8:30 p.m. Friday at the park. Members of Casey-Short VFW Post 9640 will join the POW/MIA group to dedicate and place a missing man chair at the memorial.
The chair is placed in memory of the 82,000 American soldiers who never came home from the various wars. The 50 state tour of the POW\MIA flag paid for the chairs which have been placed at Southwest Virginia Community College and in Richlands, Lebanon and Grundy as well as the courthouse in Tazewell.
They will also unveil a tower purchased by the Richlands Lions Club that will honor the more than 1,400 soldiers listed as missing in action from Virginia. The tower will have the names of those individuals and will have LED lighting to make them visible at night.
Jim Ray, who founded the 50 state tours of the POW\MIA flag, said letting people see the tower lit was the reason they chose to hold the ceremony at 8:30 p.m. The ceremony will also honor the purchase of two new benches for the park.
Sue Bandy purchased one of the benches in honor of her husband, who was a veteran and the other was purchased by a Vietnam veterans group. Linda Singleton, who represents the Cedar Bluff Business and Professional Association, one of the sponsors of the event said the public is welcome to come and enjoy the beauty of the overlook and the memorial.
Cedar Bluff Town Manager John Absher said crews have been preparing the site and erecting the tower. The town owns the Overlook Park which hosts numerous picnics and reunions between spring and late fall.
The POW\MIA Memorial was officially opened to the public in a ceremony April 26.