Ceremony remembers POW/MIA

Published 8:14 am Thursday, September 26, 2019

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Retired USAF Col. and Charlotte County Board of Supervisor Aspen/Phenix representative Donna Fore was the guest speaker during Friday’s annual POW/MIA ceremony held at the Charlotte County Administration Building.

“There are still over 82,000 Americans listed as Missing in Action (MIA),” said Fore.

During her speech, Fore recounted the story of POW Louis Zamperini, a well-known WWII veteran and an Army Air Corps bombardier held captive for more than two years by the Japanese and POW Air Force Col. Lee Ellis, a F-4 Phantom pilot who spent five years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.

Fore read excerpts from the book “Unbroken”  which tells of Zamperini’s WWII experience and survival.

A portion of the book reads, “Louis and his fellow crewmen cheated death multiple times, but none more harrowing than after his plane went down in the Pacific Ocean. While most died in the crash, Zamperini and another airman survived a total of 47 days adrift in the ocean on a life raft (a third survived the crash but died at sea).”

In speaking of Ellis, Fore shared eight “life lessons learned featured in Ellis’ book “Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton. Some of those lessons included knowing yourself; being authentic; guarding your character; confronting your doubts and fears; staying positive.