Post 7916 POW MIA Ceremony at River Mill Park
September 15, 2017, Occoquan VA. A special ceremony was held on National POW MIA Recognition Day where people from all over the region gathered together to sing the National Anthem, pledge Allegiance to our flag and pray during the POW/MIA Memorial Ceremony at River Mill Park.
Post Commander Jeff Lett provided remarks and Post Senior Vice Commander Ken Strafer stood in for the Chaplain. The crowd that had gathered may have gained additional inspiration from the American Bald Eagle that was flying behind the ceremony over the Occoquan River.
Commander Lett told the story of Air Force Captain John “Jack” William Kennedy, a post member and VMI graduate, lost to us on 21 August 1971, in Southeast Asia and listed as MIA until his remains were identified and buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1992. A VMI Cadet jacket was displayed by the POW MIA table during the ceremony to honor Captain Kennedy. Jack’s picture is displayed at Post 7916 in the trophy case in the Black Cat Lounge.
District Commander Wilson was getting this picture taken during his remarks while an onlooker at the nearby footbridge over the Occoquan was also taking photographs.District 10 Commander Chuck Wilson provided the keynote address recognizing our more than 83,000 MIA since 1941. Commander Wilson’s remarks were inspirational and motivating to the audience and the Boy Scouts of Troop 1369 that supported the event by launching balloons for each of the services while bagpiper J.R. Arthur played each of the five military songs. Also in attendance were US Congressional Candidate Jeffery Dove, Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson, Occoquan Mayor Elizabeth Quist, and Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson. Following the ceremony, many retired to the Post 7916 canteen for entertainment by the Carter Farm Band and some light fare. In the photo below (left to right) are current Post Senior Vice Commander Ken Strafer, District 10 Commander Chuck Wilson, Post Quartermaster James Adams, and former Post Senior Vice Commander “Turk” Maggi.