CLEVELAND, Ohio-- A touching tribute to America's prisoners of war and those missing in action, was unveiled on Friday at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.
An empty chair bearing a plaque that honors the more than 82,000 service men and women still unaccounted for since World War I, will be on permanent display in the lobby of the building.
Supporters of the project say the chair of honor will serve as a powerful reminder of the sacrifice made by those patriots who remain unaccounted for.
"It's important for the people who are missing; it's important for their families to bring them home, and it's a message to all those who are still serving in the armed forces to know that we don't forget, that we will be with them when they leave and when they come home," said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.
The chair of honor project was developed by the local chapter of Rolling Thunder, a veterans advocacy group committed to creating public awareness about the POW-MIA issue. "Sad that they're still out there, and sad that there needs to be more effort to bring them home”, said Rolling Thunder member, Chuck Kettler.
“I feel, you know, great sadness for families that are trying to have closure, and we're not talking just recent campaigns; we're talking campaigns that go back to World War I. We have unresolved veterans that need to come home."
Members of Rolling Thunder are hoping the chair of honor will inspire greater Clevelanders to put pressure on the government to find out what happened to the soldiers, sailors and Marines who remain unaccounted for.
"Letter campaigns, telephone calls -- you can very easily find out who you can call in Washington at your House of Representatives and just be vocal," said Kettler.
The chair of honor is being placed near the elevators at the Justice Center and organizers believe it reinforces their belief that even though the MIA/POWs are not here, there will always be a place for them.