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Assemblymember Reilly unveils POW/MIA remembrance “Chair of Honor” at special dedication ceremony on Staten Island’s South Shore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2021

Today, Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) welcomed members of Rolling Thunder and the American Legion of Richmond County to his district office for a special ceremony to dedicate a POW/MIA remembrance “Chair of Honor.”  The chair represents those service members who are unable to fill them because of their sacrifices, and they remind us of the men and women who serve our country every day.

While POW/MIA chairs are found across the United States, including at the United State Capitol in Emancipation Hall, it is found at only a few official places in the State of New York, including at the New York State Capitol, Staten Island Borough Hall, and now on Staten Island’s South Shore, at Assemblymember Reilly’s district office.

This chair was provided by and dedicated to both Rolling Thunder and the American Legion of Richmond County.  The POW/MIA symbol appears at the top of the chair, above the following text:

“You Are Not Forgotten. 

 Since World War II, more than 81,000 U.S. service personnel are unaccounted for.

 This unoccupied seat is dedicated to the memory of those brave men and women and to the sacrifices each made serving this country.

 We are all thankful.

 God Bless You.  God Bless America.”

“I want to thank President Vinny Perno of Rolling Thunder and Commander Frank LaMarsh of the American Legion for making today’s dedication ceremony possible, but I want to especially thank the men and women of both organizations who’ve served our country with courage and honor,” said Assemblymember Reilly.  “As a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, I understand the significance that this remembrance chair holds and I am honored to display one in my office.  I hope that, long after my time occupying this office has passed, this chair will remain and serve as a constant reminder for future office-holders, their staff, and constituents of the sacrifices made by our service members.” 

“The POW Chair of Honor is just that, a way to honor and never forget the service men and women who remain missing in action and unaccounted for.  This chair will sit empty in remembrance of all those who have never returned.  God bless them and their families, and may we all never forget,” said Vinny Perno, President of Rolling Thunder Chapter 2 NY.  “Rolling Thunder would like to thank Assemblyman Reilly for allowing us to place this special chair in his office.  He joins the ranks of the New York State Capital and Staten Island Borough Hall with this dedication.”

“Lest we forget.  We shall never rest until all our POWs and those Missing in Action are fully accounted for and brought home,” said Frank LaMarsh, Commander of the New York State American Legion.  “Remember their sacrifice.”

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