Booz­man speaks at POW/MIA cer­e­mony

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

U.S. Sen. John Booz­man spoke Fri­day at the De­fense De­part­ment’s Na­tional POW/ MIA Recog­ni­tion Day, ac­knowl­edg­ing the risks taken by ser­vice mem­bers and the sac­ri­fices they make.

The cer­e­mony, on the lawn out­side the Pen­tagon, in­cluded per­for­mances by the U.S. Army Band, honor guards and a fly­over by two F/A-18 fighter jets.

The Repub­li­can from Rogers, who serves on the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, told the au­di­ence about Marine Pfc. Larry Roberts of Da­m­as­cus, who went miss­ing in ac­tion dur­ing World War II.

He was killed in 1943 on a small Pa­cific is­land while bat­tling Ja­panese forces, and his re­mains were fi­nally iden­ti­fied with the help of DNA test­ing.

He was buried at Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery ear­lier this year.

The na­tion is in­debted to men like Roberts and is duty-bound to bring them home, Booz­man said.

“Each day when I walk by the POW/MIA flag out­side my of­fice, it’s a re­minder of the obli­ga­tion we have to our pris­on­ers of war, those miss­ing in ac­tion and their fam­i­lies,” Booz­man said.

“To our POWs, thank you for your stead­fast com­mit­ment to our coun­try in the hours, days, weeks, months and years of de­spair, tor­ture and hard­ship. To the fam­i­lies wait­ing to be re­united with your loved ones, thank you for your sac­ri­fice, thank you for your courage, and never, ever give up hope,” he added.

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