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Saturday, September 16, 2017
Ex-POW Vietnam Veteran Joe Crecca Keynote Speaker for POW MIA Service
Veterans honor those who came home — and those still missing — during POW/MIA ceremony
My Edmonds News
September 16, 2017
It was a heartfelt homecoming in so many ways, for so many, at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Friday night.
For an hour, local veterans — many of them Vietnam vets — remembered those who became prisoners of war or were declared missing in action during our nation’s conflicts. The occasion was national POW/MIA Day, and nearly 100 people gathered for the remembrance held in the new Veterans Plaza space, which officially opened at 5th and Bell on Memorial Day.
The crowd heard first from keynote speaker Joe Crecca, a former Air Force Major and Vietnam veteran who spent more than six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile on Nov. 22, 1966.
A North Bend resident, Crecca described being captured, beaten and interrogated, followed by eight months in solitary confinement. “During that time I tried to keep my mind busy,” he said. “The first thing I did was remember all the presidents of the United States in chronological order, then the states of the union in alphabetical order and all the capitols.” After that, he said, he “started working on math and physics problems and remembering classical music themes.”