In recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Sept. 20, middle school students took a personal moment of silence to remember the 104 New York soldiers missing in action or who were prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. In the United States, National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday in September and honors all prisoners of war and those missing in action, as well as their families.
A Wall of Remembrance for the missing soldiers is currently displayed in the middle school library. For the past couple of weeks, student voluntarily placed a soldier’s name on the wall and took a moment to reflect on the soldier and his family. They are also encouraged to do more research on the soldier to find out why he was MIA or a prisoner of war. Each participant received a bookmark with the soldier’s name on it. In addition, library assistant Mary DeGregorio displayed the Vietnam War POW bracelet she wore while in seventh grade, as well as literature about the historical event.
“The goal of the Wall of Remembrance is to raise awareness about the Vietnam War,” DeGregorio said. “It’s an opportunity for the students to show their appreciation for the soldiers sacrifices and to let the world know they are not forgotten.”
Student Katherine Wehr said she was personally touched by the project. “We don’t normally think about these people and the things that happened to them during the war, and it’s really sad.”
Through a commitment to educational excellence in a secure, supportive environment, the Wantagh Public Schools shall inspire students to develop a strong sense of individual worth and respect for others, to become lifelong learners and independent thinkers, and to fulfill themselves as concerned citizens in a diverse world.