Memorial held for POW and those MIA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Memorial held for POW and those MIA

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September 22, 2007

Andersonville -- Eighty-two year old Maria McFadden was among those honored at Saturday's celebration. Yet she stands alone in the crowd because she is the only civilian there who was also prisoner of war during WWII.

"I don't know how much I can say because there were so many horrible things. I was imprisoned once for smuggling food into the camp. I was hit in the flash light on the nose. He meant to hit me in the skull," said McFadden.

Maria and many others were honored for their efforts during the war. For Maria being a Japanese war prisoner included completing some cruel tasks.

"The people who could still walk were the ones that would bring the bodies out of prison camp. And my friends and I would volunteer because no matter how dreadful the thing we had to do was; we got out of that camp for an hour," said McFadden.

Regardless, she is lucky to have made it out. Saturday's memorial also honored the many men and women who are missing in action. "I think its terrible to envision a family for 12 years not knowing what's happened to their son or daughter," said Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 member, Gail Morris said.

And the members of Rolling Thunder are working to make sure this doesn't continue. "I know that many times its out of sight, out of mind especially for our federal government. And I think its important that we continue to support legislation that will fund bringing them home," said Morris.

A function that will help bring closure to many family members of those missing in action. There are 78 chapters of Rolling Thunder throughout the U.S.

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