City of Holyoke to Raise POW/MIA Flag, Dedicate Purple Heart Trail Text Size

On Friday, August 7 at 4:30 PM, the City of Holyoke will raise the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Flag in front of City Hall. 


It has been almost 25 years since the U.S. Congress passed legislation to allow the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag on the same pole as the American flag, and at least 10 years since the POW/MIA flag has been raised at Holyoke City Hall. The flag shall remain as a tribute to all veterans and prisoners of war. In 1990, Congress recognized the POW/MIA flag as “a symbol of our nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.” Today, the flag shows the nation’s solidarity with all service members who are missing in action and/or prisoners of war. 


Other than the American flag, the POW/MIA is the only flag to fly continuously over the Capitol, and to fly occasionally over the White House.


The flag to be flown above City Hall has been donated by the Holyoke VFW Post 801. 


In addition to raising the POW/MIA flag, the City, in recognition of August as Purple Heart month, the City will raise the Purple Heart flag in front of City Hall. 


On Saturday, August 8 at 10 AM, we will gather at the Holyoke Senior Center (291 Pine Street) to dedicate the Purple Heart Trail. The trail will provide a visual reminder of all that our veterans have sacrificed to defend our freedom. 


“These two events reflect our City’s deep gratitude for the devotion of our veterans,” Mayor Morse said. “The POW/MIA flag above City Hall and the new Purple Heart Trail will make sure that we never lose sight of the sacrifices that have been made keep us free.” 


The program for Friday’s event will be as follows: 


  •   Welcome by Jim Mahoney


  • Invocation by Chaplain (Ralph LeFebvre)


  • Presentation of Colors by the VFW District 7 Honor Color Guard


  • Pledge of Allegiance led by our guest of honor, Captain James McInerney, USMC Retired.


  • Introduction (By Jim Mahoney) of Mayor Alex B. Morse for remarks


  • Introduction of other Officials (By Jim Mahoney)
  • Introduction of Eric Segundo, (Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars Junior Vice Commander) Junior Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Massachusetts. (Remarks will highlight the POW/MIA history, importance and the 25th anniversary of the vote by the US Congress to fly the POW/MIA Flag at the US Capital)


  • Introduction of Brian Willette, Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Western Massachusetts Chapter 875.(Remarks will commemorate National Purple Heart Recognition Day)


  • Special Recognition for James Bronson, by the City of Holyoke and presented by Mayor Alex B. Morse.


  • American Flag with POW/MIA Flag below and the Purple Heart Commemorative Flag with be raised simultaneously and we play/Sing the National Anthem.



  • Conclusion and thanks to all including invitation to a reception to be hosted by Mayor Alex B. Morse in the Mayor’s Office.


Posted on August 4, 2015 by