By Scott Harvey & Bill Oliver
Commerce, TX –
The wife and the daughter of American prisoners of war were the featured speakers Wednesday during the opening program of the annual Veterans Vigil at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Betty Bryant of Commerce, whose father was a World War Two POW, applauded the sacrifice of those who served in the U.S. military.
Shirley Johnson, the wife of Dallas Congressman Sam Johnson, recalled her experiences as her husband was a POW in North Vietnam. Mrs. Johnson became a member of the League of Families, a group dedicated to writing letters and lobbying government officials for information on prisoners of war. That organization also created the POW-MIA flag. A framed flag was presented to A&M-Commerce President Dr. Keith McFarland. And the history of that and the veterans/Spirit of America flag was also part of Wednesday's program.
A vigil flame honoring all soldiers was lit and a wreath placed in front of the flame. Volunteer guards are standing watch through Friday afternoon on the West Lawn in front of the Memorial Student Center.
The United States Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble performed Wednesday night. The United States Air Force Band of the West performs Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall.