SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host the annual Christmas Remembrance Ceremony on December 4 for Illinois soldiers listed as POW/MIA during the Vietnam War.
The ceremony will be held at the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Oak Ridge Cemetery around 1 p.m.
According to officials, family and friends of soldiers will have the opportunity to hang handmade, heart-shaped ornaments with the names of loved ones on a tree near the memorial. The Black Tiger Honor Guard will serve as the color guard. The names of the POW/MIA soldiers will be read aloud, and the ceremony will also include music courtesy of the Land of Lincoln Chorus.
“The Illinois Vietnam Vigil Committee appreciates IDNR sponsoring the annual POW/MIA Christmas Remembrance Ceremony each year. There are still 63 men unaccounted for,” said Jim Mathes, IVVC spokesperson. “We always need to remember these men. They should never be forgotten.”
“We pause to remember those who bravely served our nation during the Vietnam War,” said Terry Prince, acting director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. “It is important for us to support families and friends who have been denied closure and continue to mourn their loved one each day.”
The public is invited to the ceremony.