Bay Pines to Host POW/MIA Day Remembrance Ceremony Sept. 12

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, in collaboration with the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration, will host a Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action (POW/MIA) Remembrance Ceremony on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in the courtyard (located between buildings 2 and 37) of the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center Campus. Click here to access driving directions and a campus map.

U.S. Army Veteran, Sgt. Edward DeMent will provide the keynote address. Sgt. DeMent is one of 143,374 U.S. servicemen and civilians who were held captive by Germany and Japan during World War II. He was captured by German soldiers after his B – 24 bomber was shot down over Mostar, Yugoslavia. After spending 392 days as a prisoner of war, he was liberated by Army Gen. George S. Patton.

There will also be a motorcycle ride provided by local Veteran Service Organizations throughout the VA Medical Center campus. Observers will gather at 9:30 a.m. behind building 37.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of observance for all Americans to pause in remembrance of the sacrifices and service of those who were POWs as well as those who are MIA, and their families. National POW/MIA Recognition Day has come to symbolize the steadfast resolve of the American people to not forget the men and women who gave up their freedom to protect ours.

There are currently more than 1,700 American personnel listed as missing and unaccounted from the Vietnam war alone by the Department of Defense and over 800 since.

For general information about this event please contact Jennifer Banak, Former POW Advocate, at 727-398-6661, extension 17727. This event is open to media. For advanced information please contact Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, at 727-398-6661 extension 15031.


About Jeff Cavanagh

Jeff Cavanagh spent his freshman year at St. Petersburg Junior College back in the early 70s before enlisting in the United States Navy. Soon after, he attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After college, he was commissioned and became a qualified Surface Warfare Officer spending the next 22 years honing his skills as a ship-handler and expert recruiter before retiring in 1994. Jeff expresses a deep sense of pride in St. Petersburg College due to connections that go back many years. His father, Tom Cavanagh, was a career Air Force fighter pilot and combat veteran who taught Geography and Western Civilization at St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60’s and 70’s.

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