Rolling Thunder, Inc., NC Chapter 5 is helping commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 20

In the U.S., National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday in September. It honors those who were prisoners of war (POWs) and those who are still missing in action (MIA). It is most associated with those who were POWs or MIA during the Vietnam War.

“We are having a ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day,” said Paul Levesque, event host and NC state liaison with Rolling Thunder. “We will be having a very special guest of honor and remembrance ceremony at the memorial, for all of those who were held prisoner and for those still missing.”

The ceremony is hosted every year by Jacksonville’s local chapter of Rolling Thunder, which is a veteran’s support organization. While many of Rolling Thunder’s members do ride motorcycles, owning a bike is not a prerequisite for joining.

“The major function of Rolling Thunder, Inc., is to publicize the POW-MIA issue,” Levesque said. “We are here to educate the public that many American POWs were left behind after all previous wars, to help correct the past and to protect future Veterans from being left behind should they become POW/MIA. We are also committed to helping American veterans from all wars.”

Events like these are also designed to spread the word for people to visit the memorials.

“We encourage everyone to come down to the memorials and visit. It’s become a good place for people to come, remember and reflect,” Levesque said. “We will have the Flame of Freedom present, which is similar to a torch. It is a symbol of our dedication to bringing back every POW and those who are MIA. It is a symbol of hope. We will not forget them or their sacrifice.”

The event is open to the public and will feature a “missing man” table ceremony. For more information visit or call (910)-389-7319.