By Emily Baker

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD The sober black and white flag for Americans who are missing in action or were taken prisoner of war and the single day set aside each year to honor the same are not enough to pay tribute, say local war veterans.

They say that every day, an entire nation needs to remember those whose whereabouts remain unknown.

Thats why veterans organizations maintain lasting tributes to POWs/MIAs at their posts, they said, though they and their families almost exclusively comprised the audience at Fridays POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony at a memorial outside Darnall Army Com-munity Hospital.

I dont know why (the POW/MIA issue) hasnt been more publicized, said Max Bittikofer, a Vietnam War veteran and commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3892, located in Harker Heights.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who was the featured speaker at the event, said he didnt realize just how many Americans are still unaccounted for until a visit to World War II-era cemeteries in Europe, where names of the missing are inscribed in walls.

We were all combing the walls, Carter said of a recent House Military Quality of Life Committee trip to the cemeteries to do research on expanding them. We can never forget these people. It is to our honor and credit these people have been memorialized on the walls.

Nearly 90 percent of 88,000 still-missing American military personnel are from World War II.

You see history on these walls, Carter said, adding that many of the people were lost in plane crashes into the Atlantic as they returned from war.

I am proud of you for doing this (recognition), Carter said.

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