Remembering service members who were held as prisoners of war and those missing in action on POW/MIA Day

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) — Friday was POW/MIA Day, a day set aside to remember members of the military who were held as prisoners of war and those who are still missing. For one Bedford family, Friday was especially memorable.

In 1950, the family of PFC Bobbie Ray Daniels of Bedford found out he was missing in Korea.

Fast-forward 70 years later, his family finally got the closure they have been after, as they found out what happened to him.

Daniels disappeared on a battlefield in Korea in August of 1950. His remains were not recovered at that time and he was officially declared dead three years later.

Some of his remains were found in 1951 but they could not be identified with the technology available in the middle of last century but recent technological breakthroughs made identifying those remains easier.

“Some prayer that I thought would never be answered, but…it was just due time. Being patient and waiting, that’s all I could do. But then it happened. I was joyous, really joyous.”

Cliff Daniels, Bobbie Ray Daniels’ Brother

The end of Daniels’ case gave his family some level of peace; however, others are still waiting.

Some of those men were also honored during a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 17 in Bedford but there are still nearly 82,000 American service members who remain missing since World War II. It’s for that reason that people recognize POW/MIA Day.

“It’s amazing. It gives closure to the family to have that uncertainty all those years and not know the fate of their loved one. It makes it so difficult to have any kind of closure.”

April Cheek-Messier, President of the D-Day Memorial

Science has helped discover what happened to some of those who have been found but a group of dedicated men and women are making sure the search for the remaining will continue.

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