The National Prisoner of War Museum Celebrates 25 Years

Park supporters gathered on April 22nd to celebrate the opening of the National Prisoner of War Museum on April 9, 1998. ACE Intern, Meredith Funderburk spoke about Operation Homecoming, when nearly 600 POWs held by the North Vietnamese were repatriated to the U.S. in 1973. At an afternoon ceremony, speakers highlighted the museum’s role in sharing its story with over one million visitors since its opening 25 years ago. Former Vietnam POW, Bill Arcuri, talked about his imprisonment and why the museum is so important to former POWs. Congressman Sanford Bishop also spoke about the museum as an important part of American history that should be shared with this and future generations. He also presented a Congressional award to Superintendent Gia Wagner and Deputy Regional Director Lance Hatten of the National Park Service. In a moving story, Sally Morgan told the crowd about her experience as a civilian internee during World War II in the Philippines. Fred Boyles addressed the role of Friends of Andersonville and American Ex-Prisoners of War in developing support and financing for the museum. He highlighted the work of Carl Runge, a former POW and President of the Friends.

Friends of Andersonville Trustees from left to right, Fred Boyles, Sybil Smith, Jim Covington and Herschel Smith in the lobby of the National Prisoner of War Museum.

Former Vietnam POW Bill Robinson poses with two park visitors at the 25th Anniversary celebration of the National Prisoner of War Museum on April 22nd.

Lance Hatten, and Gia Wagner receive an award from Sanford Bishop on behalf of the National Park Service on the occasion of 25 years of operation of the National Prisoner of War Museum.

From left to right, Deputy Regional Director Lance Hatten, Sally Morgan, Fred Boyles, Bill Arcuri and Superintendent Gia Wagner.