CARIBOU - This memorial is a reminder of the more than 80,000 soldiers who were, and still are, missing in action or prisoners of war. Located at the Veteran's Cemetery in Caribou, it symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice that many gave.
"Locally, people still care. Nationally, the Department of Defense is still looking for our missing people," said Harry Hafford, who is Chairman of the Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery Corporation.
Hafford says that holding ceremonies on days like POW and MIA day are ways to bring the public and local veterans together to pay respects to the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice. C.B. Smith, who is CEO of Virtual Managed Solutions in Caribou, and also an Air Force Veteran says, that much of what we have left of the POWs and the MIAs, are their memory.
"Their memories and their ordeal is beyond description. I think it's helpful for people to be reminded of what that commitment was and what that ordeal must have been like," said Smith.
From the laying of the wreath, the 21 gun salute, and coming together to sing Amazing Grace, the entirety of the ceremony was heartfelt.
"All gave some, some gave all. But there are some still paying today," said Smith.
"Hopefully we'll bring a lot more missing in action people home," said Hafford.
Hafford added that 70 remains have been found so far this year and have been returned to their families.