Photos: 2024 POW/MIA Ceremony at Prospect Mountain

On Sunday afternoon, June 2, a crowd gathered at the top of Prospect Mountain in Lake George to remember the POWs who never came home and those who went missing. The ceremony is held every year on the first Sunday of June. North Creek American Legion Commander Paul Sears, who officiated, noted that this is the 55e year that the American Legion has held this ceremony.

Several dozen members of the New York Patriot Guard Riders participated in the event, riding motorcycles, flags flying, up the winding Veterans Memorial Parkway and forming a bunting line at the ceremony site overlooking Lake George. Caroline Williams of Johnsburg Central School sang the national anthem.

Motorcyclists with American and POW/MIA flags
Riders of the New York Patriot Guard

The service opened with an invocation by Pastor Joe Plew to the Christian Motorcyclists Association. Warren County American Legion Commander Don Keenan addressed the crowd and noted the importance of the event, saying there are still 83,000 troops missing, and we are continually working to find them.

Man speaks on an outdoor stage
Pastor Joe Plew
A man in the uniform of the American Legion speaks at an outdoor stage
Warren County American Legion Commander Don Keenan

Connie Service also spoke. Her father, William Harbourke, is a former Warren County American Legion Commander, and it was his efforts that brought a Veterans Memorial to the top of Prospect Mountain in 1983. Service spoke about the history of the Veterans Memorial Parkway, and she explained that although it was dedicated to veterans in the 1960s; a memorial was missing until her father’s initiative.

North Creek American Legion Commander Paul Sears and Connie Service

During the ceremony, New York Senator Dan Stec announced that he and New York Assemblyman Matt Simpson have introduced legislation that would exempt veterans and active-duty people from paying the fee to travel onto the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway. The regular rate is $10 per carload. On Sunday, the fee was waived for those who attended the POW/MIA ceremony.

New York State Senator Dan Stec

Rhode Island Vice Commander Michael Graichen, who was in Lake George for the Americade Rally, said a few words and said he found the Lake George area and the local American Legions very welcoming to visitors.

Rhode Island Vice Commander Michael Graichen

The Warrensburg Junior/Senior High School Band, directed by Denise Foster, and the Johnsburg Central School Band, directed by Max Garrett, sang the service songs of the U.S. military branches and performed “God Bless America.” The JBCS Flag Corps, directed by Katy Ashe, performed along with the bands.

The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence for the country’s POWs and MIAs, followed by ‘Taps’, with an echo, performed by members of the JBCS Band.

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