WOODBURY – A Nonnewaug High School freshman is seeking approval to install a POW/MIA chair of honor behind the school as part of his Boy Scout Eagle project.
Andrew Grivner, 15, said the chair would be mounted to a fixed concrete base with pavers and stonework. It would be a place of honor and remembrance to U.S. soldiers who never came home from war and remain unaccounted for, he noted.
The chair would remain unoccupied at all times as a reminder that “there is still a place reserved for them,” Grivner said.
The project is part of the nationally recognized “You Are Not Forgotten” slogan for POW/MIA recollection, he said. Similar chairs can be found around the country at schools, sports stadiums and other public places, including the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
A member of Boy Scout Troop 54 of Woodbury, Grivner said he is working with the high school to find the best location for the chair, likely near the athletic fields.
Grivner said the chair would be cordoned off, illuminated at night and accompanied by both American and POW/MIA flags.
The Region 14 Board of Education recently gave its support to the project, pending final review by its infrastructure subcommittee.
Grivner said he hopes to raise the estimated $2,800 cost through fundraisers and sponsorships. Acting Superintendent Wayne McAllister, a Vietnam War veteran, already has pledged to donate $500 of his own money toward the cause. Board member Jim Crocker also pledged his financial support.
Harrison Electric has volunteered its time to provide the lighting and electricity, Grivner said.
He hopes to complete the project this summer in time for an unveiling on POW/MIA Remembrance Day, which is Sept. 16.
There are 83,204 unaccounted for U.S. military personnel, including 73,547 from World War II, 7,883 from the Korean War, 126 from the Cold War, 1,642 from the Vietnam War, and six from Iraq and other recent conflicts, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office.