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25th annual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Christmas Remembrance Saturday

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[November 26, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- The 66 Illinois soldiers still listed as prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia will be remembered at a special ceremony Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. The event is free and open to the public.

During the 25th annual Christmas Remembrance, handmade red and white heart-shaped ornaments will be hung by family and friends on the blue spruce planted near the memorial for this purpose. Each ornament bears the name of one of the 66 Illinois POWs or MIAs. Members of the general public may also bring a weatherproof ornament to hang on the tree.

John Ratchford, an Illinois Vietnam veteran and the treasurer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, will be the master of ceremonies, and Mikle Siere Sr. of the Lincoln Tomb and War Memorials State Historic Site will read the POW/MIA names. The Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus will provide Christmas music. The color guard will be provided by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 534. The Rev. Charles P. Jackson of the Springfield St. John AME Church will give the invocation and benediction.

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The event is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which administers the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]

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