homepage logo

MIA soldiers to be honored Friday at Eco Park; Two men with local ties to be noted

By Staff | Sep 18, 2008

Soldiers who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars and were reported to be missing in action will be honored Friday at Eco Park as part of National Missing in Action Day. 

Bob Hebner from the Cape chapter 155 of the Korean War Veterans Association said the event is not only to honor those soldiers, but to keep their memories alive and well in the minds of the American people. 

“Too many people have forgotten about these soldiers,” Hebner said, who added the ceremony is “absolutely” for the benefit of future generations.  

Two soldiers with local ties will also be acknowledged — Phillip F. Alcorn, captured Feb. 18, 1951, and Corporal Frank Marion Kautman, captured Dec. 21, 1952. 

“They were both captured in Korea and have been missing ever since,” said Hebner, who served in Korea from 1952-53.

Starting promptly at 10 a.m., Hebner said the 20-minute ceremony will feature a color guard, a rifle team who will conduct a rifle salute, a playing of “Taps” and a prayer. 

Each year, the president issues a proclamation honoring and recognizing the sacrifices of America’s POWs and MIAs, both those returned and those still missing, and their families, designating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition day.

Hebner said the local chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association has been holding the ceremony for many years, but he does not know when the day was officially sanctioned by the federal government. 

“This is the national missing in action day, but we’ve done this for years,” he said. “When the government stated it was an actual day, I can’t tell you.”

Hebner added that the Korean people look upon Americans “with great favor,” and the Korean government even has programs available that treat veterans to six days in the country at the government’s expense. 

“It’s quite a way of thanking Americans. They respect us tremendously,” Hebner said. 

For more information contact Bob Hebner at 573-1983.