I read with interest the Feb. 21 article by Herald writer Pamela Brice about the return of the remains of Lt. Alan Clark from the Vietnam War (“DNA brings closure”). It is indeed gratifying that another such case was brought to a close.
Lt. Clark’s widow, Tanya, was “amazed they were able to locate him, and also by the perseverance of our government to try to find those who have fallen in war.”
Yes, the government found his remains due to the constant prodding of the American Legion and other veterans’ groups. As the American Legion is chartered in the Congress, we are able to put pressure on this sometimes reluctant body to find and/or resolve the question of troops missing in action or prisoners of war.
The organization mandates that the local posts keep this issue alive in their local communities. The opening ritual of each meeting has included an empty chair POW/MIA ceremony. It features a small table with a white tablecloth upon which is placed a red rose, red ribbon, slice of lemon, sprinkle of salt, inverted glass and candle with an empty chair.
This ceremony will continue as long as there is any question of unaccounted for POWs and MIAs.
American Legion Historian