Bill Davenport, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America’s Michael P. Callahan Chapter 955, researched the names of area POW/MIAs ahead of the dedication of a Prisoner of War (POW) Chair of Honor at Wildwood, N.J.’s City Hall.
Decorated with a POW/MIA emblem, the chair is dedicated to the more than 82,000 American service members who were POWs or are missing in action. Veterans advocacy group Rolling Thunder helps place POW Chairs of Honor throughout the country as daily reminders of the POW/MIA issue.
The city also dedicated a POW/MIA folding chair, which will appear onstage at Wildwood events held outside City Hall. The chairs are dedicated to Air Force Pilot Dyke Spilman, lost in North Vietnam in 1966; Air Force Capt. Bernard L. Pearson, lost in Korea in 1950; and Army veteran Luciano Tassoni, lost in World War I in 1918.
“There’s a lot of men and women who are not sitting in this room — I think somewhere they’re up above us watching — but they aren’t in here enjoying the liberties that they fought for,” Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano said in the dedication ceremony. “What we have here is just a small token of our appreciation.”