Dearly missed: Ft. Hamilton honors prisoners of war

Silent testament: Ron Peters salutes the missing during a ceremony at Fort Hamilton honoring prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action on Sept. 18.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Gone, but not forgotten.

Soldiers and patriots remembered prisoners of war and those missing in action protecting this country during a memorial held at Fort Hamilton on Sept. 18.

An Army sergeant who spent 32 months in captivity during the Korean War — nearly the length of the three-year conflict — shared his story, which came as a shock even to veterans, one soldier said.

“I was surprised that all this could happen to an individual,” said Ron Peters, who served in the U.S. Army during peacetime just after the Korean War. “It’s not like television, it’s not like ‘Hogan’s Heros.’ ”

Soldiers set a “Missing Man Table” — a dining table with empty seats for the five branches of the armed forces and one for civilians. Uniform caps from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard marked each branch’s seat at the table. The fort’s commander addressed the crowd, a bugler played “Taps,” and an Army sergeant performed patriotic songs.

The affair is a good way to honor missing service men and women, but the ultimate goal is bringing them home, Peters said.

“They should be found, either living or dead,” he said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
In memoriam: Jorge Lopez of the 24th Civil Support Team plays “Taps.”
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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