Teams of three to four cadets “stand guard” on a mural of the Military Code of Conduct and POW/MIA Memorial Table. Standing at parade rest for thirty-minute intervals, the cadets pay their respect to those Americans who were held in captivity or were lost on battlefields around the world.
The United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be observed on July 18, 1979. It was observed on the same date in 1980 and was held on July 17 in 1981 and 1982. It was then observed on April 9 in 1983 and July 20 in 1984. The event was observed on July 19 in 1985, and then beginning in 1986 the date moved to the third Friday of September. The President of the United States each year proclaims National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Many states in the United States of America also proclaim POW/MIA Recognition Day together with the national effort.
“At a time in American history when it seems our nation is questioning the value of our country, and the significant contributions our forefathers have made around the world, I am lifted by the patriotism of these young cadets,” said Colonel Mike Whitehurst, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at SouthWest Edgecombe High School.
Cadets compete for the honor of serving. A total of 44 cadets participated in the ceremony.
“I am proud to be a part of AFJROTC. It was a huge honor to be selected to stand in honor of the POW/MIA Ceremony. I have great respect for each and every soldier that fights to protect our freedoms,” said student Shyann Warren, who is a Cadet Master Sergeant.