During a special dedication ceremony held on November 27,
2018, Rolling Thunder Inc. and the Dante family bestowed upon North Hunterdon
High School an empty POW-MIA chair that commemorates the service men and women
who did not return home and their sacrifice to protect our country. The chair, along with the American and
POW-MIA flags also donated by Rolling Thunder, will be on display in the
school’s history wing on the second floor.
Gus Dante, Government Affairs liaison for Rolling Thunder,
shared that 24 POW-MIA chairs have been dedicated in New Jersey and 375
nationwide, including one in the U.S. Capitol Building. “There are 40 people
still missing from New Jersey…83,000+ are still unaccounted for from all wars,
just think about that. We will not
forget them,” said Dante.
Over 20 members of Rolling Thunder Inc., including founder
and National Executive Director Artie Muller, attended the dedication ceremony,
along with local officials and high school students. In addition to the empty chair dedication,
Rolling Thunder also displayed on stage the empty POW-MIA table and explained
its significance to the people and students in attendance. The empty table is
typically seen at military balls and chow halls to remind us of those who are missing
from our table and to raise a glass to their missing comrades.
Dr. Greg Cottrell, Principal of North Hunterdon High School,
opened the ceremony by speaking to how the chair fits in with the district’s
mission statement of creating responsible citizens as well as the obligation
schools have to educate students about the sacrifices that have been made so we
can enjoy the freedoms we have.
“If you are a student who wants to make a difference in the
world, North Hunterdon High School will give you every advantage to do so.
But this is only possible because of the brave men and women who have put
their lives on the line to keep the wolves at bay. And even as we sit here, there are military
members out there right now standing between us and those who would like to
come and take this all away. Memorials such as this promote responsible
citizenship by reminding students to respect, honor and appreciate the
sacrifices made in service to our country.
I am extremely proud to have this memorial at North Hunterdon and I
thank everyone who worked to make this possible,” said Dr. Cottrell.
In addition to representatives from Rolling Thunder, the
dedication ceremony was coordinated by Assistant Principal Timothy Flynn, North
Hunterdon Social Studies Honor Society Advisor/history teacher Tim Kieffer, and
the Patriotic Club Advisor/history teacher Michael Phillips.
To learn more about Rolling Thunder, Inc. and their efforts
on behalf of POW-MIA service members, please visit http://www.rollingthunder1.com/.