U.S. Navy veteran Eric Fuller of Livermore leads a parade of motorcycles across the POW/MIA Memorial Bridge in Jay prior to the National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony Friday night. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

JAY — POW/MIA National Recognition Day was observed Friday with a ride-in by members of the Franklin and Oxford county chapters United Bikers of Maine and a service of remembrance at the POW/MIA Bridge Monument of all Wars.

While waiting for the bikers to arrive, Rose Dyke of Canton took a closer look at the monument listing all those from Maine listed as missing or repatriated. Her brother, John Henry Brooks went missing on May 13, 1969.

Veteran and musician Paul Bright said it’s important to remember the millions of troops serving in very dangerous places and their families.

Eric Fuller, a US Navy veteran from Livermore, saluted as he led the procession of bikers past the monument. The bikers continued over the POW/MIA Memorial Bridge before turning around and heading back to the monument.

Observance organizer and VFW Post 3335 member Jim Manter said, ” We’re doing things a bit differently tonight. We’re taking a moment to remember the events impacting our community.

“In Farmington, our brother responders did what millions of our brethren do. They ran towards danger, not away.”

A moment of silence and a prayer were given for all the explosion victims and their families.

Chaplain Larry Bilodeau gave that prayer as well as the opening prayer for the POW/MIA observance.

Manter said, “We gather to take pause, to remember the sacrifice and service of those missing in action or held as prisoners of war, especially their families.

“More than 83,000 are still missing. They are still unable to be with us and their loved ones tonight. We will join in this humble service until the last one returns home.

“We have not forgotten them.”

Juanita Crafts and Mark Grooms placed the wreath. Crafts’ husband Charles was a prisoner in Nietnam, Grooms’ dad was held prisoner in Germany.

Juanita Crafts then shared words of thanks for the veterans organizations and their auxiliaries, especially those who organize the annual POW/MIA observance.

To Charlie this was his day, she said.

“The last two years he was unable to attend but he was here in mind. He sat at the kitchen table waiting to hear the bikers roar in. He was so proud to be alive,” Crafts said. “This year he is not sitting at my table. I know he is watching over us and standing proud for his country.”

She thanked Eric Fuller for riding in on his bike the cold, blustery day Charlie was laid to rest.

“Thank you each of you for remembering him. Thank Charlie for your service and sacrifice to this country you loved dearly,” Crafts said. “We love and miss you.”

After a closing prayer, a 21-gun salute was given and Taps played.

Participants were then invited to the VFW post for refreshments and to learn more about the Table For One display which remembers those yet to return home.

 

Friday Rose Dyke of Canton looks at the memorial listing all Maine missing or repatriated service members, part of the Jay POW/MIA Bridge Monument of all Wars Friday. Dyke’s brother, John Henry Brooks went missing May 13,1969. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

 

 

Jim Manter, VFW Post 3335 steadies the microphone while Juanita Crafts speaks during the POW/MIA National Recognition Day observance in Jay Friday. Her husband, Charles Crafts was a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

 

 

Rose Dyke of Canton kneels beside Juanita Crafts of Livermore at the POW/MIA National Recognition Day observance in Jay on Friday. Dyke’s brother has been missing in action since May 13, 1969. Crafts’ husband, Charles, was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Seated beside Crafts is Mark Grooms, whose father was a POW in Germany. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Roxie who rode with her owner Patrick White, the county director of the Oxford County chapter United Bikers of Maine, was attentive during the National POW/MIA Recognition Day observance held Friday in Jay. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

A 21-gun salute was given during the POW/MIA National Recognition Day observance Friday in Jay. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden


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