About a month ago, I wrote about the ongoing work in Hangar One here at the Museum of Aviation and how we are moving towards giving the building a more central theme that focuses on the Vietnam War. This comes to mind today because of the news that the remains of two soldiers who fought in that war will finally be returned the United States and laid to rest this month. Army 1st Lt. Paul G. Magers of Sidney, Nebraska and Army Chief Warrant Officer Donald L. Wann of Shawnee, Oklahoma flew an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and were lost in action June 1, 1971. I can only imagine the emotions that their families are feeling now, as they prepare to finally bury their loved ones later this month.
The Museum of Aviation dedicated its own memorial to Prisoners of War (POW) and those still listed as Missing in Action (MIA) in October of 2008. It is located just outside of Hangar One, near the museums amphitheater. The location of the memorial makes it a good place to pause and give thought to the sacrifice that has been made for this country through the years. Let’s never forget that sacrifice, or the families that still suffer.
We dedicate this memorial, unbinding the American Eagle from her chain, in the enduring faith that all POW/MIA “chains” will be unbound and their journey home will begin with God’s speed. “Bring them home” is our proclamation to the world with this dedication, as it has always been our vow before today, we wait with an endless, uncompromising vigilance for your return home to your loved ones, to your nation, to finally find peace, we stand with open arms, shoulder-to-shoulder dedicating this memorial honoring your patriotism, sacrifice and legacy. – YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.