VIDEO, PHOTOS & STORY -- The David C. Harrison American Legion Post 14 family dedicated a POW MIA Chair at Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center Saturday, Sept. 1 during the Legion's annual Veterans Picnic at the facility just south of Smyrna.
More than 100 veterans and guests gathered Saturday at Pinnacle Rehabilitation and Health Center just south of Smyrna, but the focus was on one chair.
The David C. Harrison American Legion Post 14 family dedicated a POW MIA Chair for prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Legion's ninth annual Veterans Picnic at the facility.
The black chair features the POW MIA symbol and this message:
You Are Not Forgotten.
Since World War II, more than 82,000 soldiers are unaccounted for. This unoccupied seat is dedicated to the memory of those brave men and women and to the sacrifices each made serving this country.
American Legion Post 14, Smyrna, DE.
We are all thankful.
God Bless You. Gold Bless America.
A plaque that will be posted above the chair at Pinnacle has the POW MIA symbol and reads:
Chair of Honor for Prisoners of War-Missing in Action.
This chair is dedicated in honor of those who are Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) and symbolizes there will always be a place in this facility awaiting their return.
Dedicated this 1st day of September 2018 by American Legion Post #14, Smyrna.
Among the guests who spoke at the ceremony were state Rep. Bill Carson, Clayton Mayor David Letterman, American Legion Department of Delaware 1st Vice Commander Michael Havel and A Hero's Welcome Delaware Director Rosely Robinson.
The dedication ceremony highlighted the ninth annual Veterans Picnic sponsored by American Legion Post 14, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 14, the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders.
The picnic included a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers, plenty of side dishes and cake; music by the Imagination Players youth vocal group and DJ Styles; cars and motorcycles on display and a large America flag suspended high in the air on a ladder truck from Citizens' Hose Company.
For many years, the organization of the picnic was led by "String" Donovan who was in charge of the Veterans Relief Fund for American Legion Post 14, but when he passed away last year, his wife, Maude Donovan, continued the tradition.
As a tribute to String, the staff at Pinnacle presented Maude with a teddy bear made from one of String's shirts and an American Legion shirt. The bear wears a locket with String's photograph.