CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Team Charleston honored former Prisoners of War and Missing in Action with a series of events beginning Thursday and ending Friday afternoon on Joint Base Charleston.
September 21st is a Proclamation by President Obama as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Governor Nikki Haley ordered flags be flown at half staff to honor those brave Americans missing in action or taken as prisoners of war.
The remembrance events kicked off Thursday afternoon, with a 24-hour vigil run. More than 100 service men and women, employees from the Department of Defense, family members, and several Junior ROTC cadets from local high schools took part. Participants, organized in teams of 4, ran continuously in 30-minute increments for an entire 24-hour period on the AirBase Physical Training Track.
After the vigil run, more than 200 guests gathered for a Recognition Luncheon at the Charleston Club Friday to honor former Prisoners of War. More than 20 former POWs from South Carolina were honored as guests at the luncheon.
A retreat ceremony followed the luncheon at the Joint Base flagpole. The ceremony was conducted by the Joint Base Charleston Honor Guard, and included a wreath-laying, a flyover, reading of the code of conduct, retirement of the colors, the playing of TAPS, and a 21-gun salute.
Senior Master Sergeant Robert Shultz stressed the importance of recognizing and honoring our former POWs and MIA in this yearly event.
"Every year we put events together, and try to find local POW and MIA. We try to bring the community out just to honor them and let them know that they're never going to be forgotten," Shultz said.
ABC News 4 asked Shultz what this day means for him as a member of the military.
"When I go out, when I deploy... it reminds me that I'm not going to be forgotten if I'm fallen, or captured. My country is going to go looking for me and make sure I get home to my family."