Friday, September 15, National POW/MIA Recognition Day
On Friday, September 15, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas will host a presentation by Lt. Col. David B. Grant, USAF Retired, who will share the story and experiences of his nine-month captivity in North Vietnam. The public is invited to this event, free of charge, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the Transylvania County Library’s Rogow Room.
Former Prisoner of War to Speak
On June 24, 1972, U.S. Air Force Captain David B. Grant was flying a mission from Thailand into conflict-ridden North Vietnam when his F-4 Phantom took a direct hit and exploded. The fuselage was separating when both Grant and his “back-seater,” Bill, ejected through the fireball. They landed without injury, about two miles apart. They would not see each other again until days later when they became cellmates in the infamous North Vietnamese prison known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton.
On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember the debt we owe to our nation’s prisoners of war and those unaccounted for from past conflicts. According to the Defense Department’s Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office, the number of POWs and those missing in action is more than 83,000. “We are proud to present this program on the official day of recognition,” said museum President, David Morrow, “and we greatly appreciate Dave Grant’s willingness to speak about his experiences.”
In 1973, President Nixon hosted nearly 600 Vietnam POWs and their guests at the White House, just months after the Paris Peace Accords, signed January 27, 1973, which allowed them to return home. It is still the largest dinner ever held at the White House.
The mission of the Veterans History Museum is to honor veterans, educate the public, and preserve important military artifacts. “The best way to preserve our country’s military history is to listen and learn from the stories of our veterans,” said Michel Robertson, author of Welcome Home, Brother: Memoirs of Vietnam War Veterans. “We are proud to offer this event to the public on this national day of recognition.”