LUZERNE COUNTY -- As the Star Spangled Banner was sung, a flag was flown at half-staff.
This solemn gathering in Luzerne County's Back Mountain was to remember those gone missing in action or taken prisoner during war.
The ceremony at the Back Mountain Harvest Assembly Church was held to remind the community those war veterans will never be forgotten.
Many in the audience were war veterans themselves.
“I've had lots and lots of family members that have served in multiple conflicts, including myself and ongoing generations,” said Dave Cubo, a Gulf War veteran.
This site was built on the church's property in Trucksville and dedicated to POW’s and those missing in action.
September 16th is the National POW-MIA Recognition Day.
“There`s 82,000 POW-MIA's since World War Two. Thirty-nine of those POW are from Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, and we really wanted to make a portion of our campus a place of healing,” said Pastor Raymond Petts.
A fire was lit at the memorial site, burning from dusk to dawn, as a table with an empty chair was placed in one corner, signifying a veteran who never came home.
Fred Searles, a Korean War veteran, was a prisoner of war, held in North Korean from 1950 to 1953.
“To me, it means that the people are actually showing appreciation from here. It's not just words... it's deeds. It really, really shakes me up,” said Searles.
Lackawanna County Judge Thomas Munley, a Vietnam veteran, was the keynote speaker.
“I was in Vietnam in the infantry, and I remember we used to say to ourselves don't ever, if we ever get captured, we'll probably never come back alive... so I think about these guys all the time,” said Hon. Munley.
“Makes me feel so damn good that I know that people really appreciate us by showing it,” said Searles.