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Arnold Air Society plans candlelight vigil to honor POWs and missing service members

The Arnold Air Society, an honorary society under New Mexico State University's Air Force ROTC, is holding a candlelight vigil to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the NMSU Horseshoe Field.

Honored guest Harry Crane, a World War II veteran, who was captured in Anzio, Italy and a POW held captive for 14 months, will share his compelling story with those in attendance. Immediately following the ceremony, cadets will light 2,085 luminarias to honor the military members still unaccounted for.

"I believe this vigil is important because it allows for the local veterans and community members to come out and pay tribute to those who have given so much to help preserve the freedoms of this country," said Kyle Vincent, Arnold Air Society cadet major.

The vigil is held in conjunction with National POW/MIA Recognition Day and the United States Air Force's birthday on Sept. 18. National POW/MIA Recognition Day is on the third Friday in September every year and is one of six days specified by law on which the black POW/MIA flag is to be flown over federal facilities, cemeteries, post offices and military installations.

"We really want to emphasize the important types of sacrifices POWs and MIAs have made for us," said Katherine Apple, Arnold Air Society member. "They are sometimes forgotten throughout the course of history, because they are not on our home front, but we want to let them know that we remember."

The NMSU campus and community are invited to take part in the ceremony and can assist the cadets in lighting the luminarias. Dress is business casual. For more information call 575-646-2136.