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POW/MIA Flag to Fly Over Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/15/2003

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
When: 3:00 p.m. today, January 15

Where: Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum

A short ceremony in the east lobby of the Coliseum will precede the flag raising. Participants will initially meet at 3:00 p.m. in the Dane County Veterans Services Office, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way. Directions: Enter the Alliant Energy Center grounds through the Rimrock Road gate. Drive straight ahead between the Exhibition Hall and the Memorial Coliseum. Turn left and park in front of the Administration building.


Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, at 3 p.m. today (Jan. 15), will participate in a ceremony marking the initial raising of the Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flag over the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center grounds.

A short ceremony will include the presentation of a POW/MIA flag to the County Executive on behalf of the veterans of Dane County. Then an honor guard comprised of members of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans will lower the United States flag with honors, then raise the flag again, accompanied by the POW/MIA flag beneath it on the flagpole.

“The POW/MIA flag symbolizes the plight of all Americans from all of our nation’s wars who remain prisoners of war or missing in action and our commitment to achieving the fullest possible accounting of their fate. On behalf of Dane County, I am honored to raise the POW/MIA flag above the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a building that honors the service and sacrifice of our county’s veterans,” said County Executive Falk.

Marvin Freedman, executive director of the Wisconsin State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America, approached County Executive Falk about flying the POW/MIA flag over the Coliseum.

“Flying this flag is a way of keeping faith with America’s POWs and MIAs from all wartime periods,” said Freedman. “We are extremely grateful to County Executive Falk for her immediate action directing that the POW/MIA flag fly over the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Her actions mean a great deal to all of our county’s veterans to whom the POW/MIA issue is an deeply held, abiding matter of personal concern and commitment,” added Freedman.

The short ceremony in the east lobby of the Coliseum [participants will initially meet at 3:00pm in the Dane County Veterans Services Office, at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way], which will precede the flag raising, will be as follows:
-- Marv Freedman, Executive Director, Wisconsin State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America and Member, Board of Directors, Dane County VVA Chapter 220, will make brief remarks.
-- Gundel Metz, Dane County VFW Council Commander will present the first POW/MIA flag to County Executive Falk on behalf of Dane County veterans.
-- Members of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Chapter 5 will lower the American flag with honors and raise it again with the POW/MIA flag directly beneath. Once the flags are raised, the event will conclude.

Among others who will be in attendance are Don Heiliger, former Vietnam War POW, Chair of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs and a member of the Dane County Board; Cliff Syverud, American Ex-POWs; Mike Furgal, VFW State Adjutant; Jim Mayr, VVA State Treasurer and Secretary of Dane County VVA Chapter 220; Bernie Olson, Adjutant, Dane County VFW Council; Michael Jackson, Dane County Veterans Services Officer [CVSO]; and Katie Crawley, representing U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.

The flag itself was created by the National League of Families, whose principal mission is to obtain the fullest possible accounting of Vietnam War POWs/MIAs. With time, it has come to symbolize the plight of all POWs/MIAs.

Today there are still 78,000 POWs/MIAs from World War II, 8,100 from the Korean War, 1891 from the Vietnam War, and one from the Persian Gulf War.

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