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All gave some. Some gave all. POW/MIA Ceremony set for Sept. 15 in Sioux Falls

The National POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing In Action) Recognition Day was established in 1979 through a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has issued an annual proclamation commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

This year the National POW/MIA Recognition Day is set for Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. The Sioux Falls POW/MIA Ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park,1021 W. Baily Street this Friday, Sept. 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Mick Nesseim, Senior Vice Commander of Veterans of America Chapter 959 and Master of Ceremonies for the event, spoke of the importance of the event.

“All gave some. Some gave all. That statement rings true for an event like this,” said Nesseim.

Nesseim helped begin organizing this event 12 years ago to help bring recognition to the Prisoner of War individuals and the Missing In Action.

He pointed out the numbers are staggering for the MIA. As of Sept. 8, 2023 there is a total of 81,387 military members missing in action. There are 72,185 from World War II, 7,492 from Korea, 1,578 from Vietnam, 126 form the Cold War, 5 from the Gulf Wars, and 1 from Africa.

Of those National numbers there are seven individuals still Missing in Action from the Vietnam War in South Dakota. Those seven are among those being honored at the Ceremony on Friday.

Those individuals include Donald Deane Aldern, Captain in the Navy; Tommy Leon Callies, Captain in the Air Force; Allen Duane Christensen, SPC Army; Stanley Jon Freng, E5 Navy; Charles Lane, Captain Air Force; Walter Alfred Renelt, Col Air Force; and David Pecor Soyland, CW3 Army.

Others will also be recognized including Dwight Marvin Bergeron, MIA from the Korean War, and Bernard Vincent Hoffman, WWII POW. Hoffman was born in Tea and grew up in the Tea Area where he attended country school. He was one of the original founders of the Tea Legion Post. His daughter, Shirley Wetering, still resides in Tea.

The event will open with the presentation of colors by the Cadets of Civil Air Patrol.

Bag pipes will be played by Sergeant Major Tom King. Honor Guard will be combined members of the Sioux Falls American Legion Post 15, VFW Post 628, and Marine Corps League Detachment 659.

During the Ceremony, Nesseim will read the names of the POW/MIA and will recognize the relatives in attendance and present them with a t-shirt that states “South Dakota Will Not Forget”.

Guest Speaker for the event will be Stacy Kooistra.

Those attending the event are asked to bring their lawn chair. In case of bad weather, the ceremony will be held at the VFW/American Legion Armory 1700 W. Russell Street, Sioux Falls. A reception will follow at the VFW/American Legion Armory.

“We must never forget those who were Prisoners Of War and those Missing In Action who have never came home,” added Nesseim.


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