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(DELRAN) — Assemblyman Jack Conners (D-Camden), chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, will host his 9th Annual POW*MIA Remembrance Ceremony Friday, honoring those who have returned — and those still missing in the line of duty — from our country’s military conflicts.

The invitation-only event will be held 8:45 a.m., Friday, September 17 at The Merion, 1901 Rt. 130 South, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077.

In keeping with the spirit of those being honored, the event will not be canceled or postponed for any reason, barring a declared state of emergency. For press inquiries, please contact Perri Morris at 856-461-3997. For questions on the day of the event, please call 856-981-5119.

This year, the following individuals and organizations will be honored:

  • Former POWs of the Japanese, German, Korean and North Vietnamese governments;
  • Gold Star parents and relatives of those still missing;
  • A monetary donation will be presented to:
    • Ms. Ann Mills-Griffiths, the executive director for the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia and the sister of Cdr. James B. Mills, USNR, MIA, Sept. 21, 1966, North Vietnam; and
    • Ms. Karen McManus, the sister of deceased POW Kevin Joseph McManus, held captive from Jun. 14, 1967 to Feb. 18, 1973, North Vietnam at the “Hanoi Hilton.”
  • New Jersey and federal service medals will be awarded to:
    • Mr. Vincent Pale, commander of the Cape May County ex-POWs and held captive for 14 months at Stalag 17, Germany;
    • Ms. Fran Pliskin, spouse of deceased POW 2nd Lt. Irving Pliskin, USAF, held captive in Germany from Jan. 10, 1945 to Jun. 16, 1945; and
    • Mr. Alphonse Iannuzzi, a POW held in Germany during WWII.

The event, always held on the National POW*MIA Day of Remembrance (the third Friday in September), will feature a donation to a POW*MIA organization, a medal awards ceremony and the Missing Man Ceremony, a solemn salute to the unaccounted military men and women from New Jersey and the rest of the nation.

Started by Assemblyman Conners in 2001, the annual remembrance has grown from 90 attendees at a local VFW post to an event hosting more than 600 individuals, including: POWs and their families; active duty military personnel; representatives from the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; and representatives from national, state, county and local veterans’ organizations.