Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Silent Passing

A man died today. He was not famous.....he was not a celebrity. He was a veteran of WWII who came home to make a life for himself and his family, as an ordinary patriotic American.
But what he made, his vision, has inspired Americans to remember those countrymen who never came back. Our countrymen whose whereabouts are known but to God.
Newt Heisley died today at the age of 88. His legacy however, will endure far beyond his years. In 1971, Newt designed the sketch of what would become the POW/MIA symbol. A symbol adorning lapel pins, flags, shirts, helmets and license plates across the nation. That symbol was never copyrighted; Newt never became famous for this endeavor. Not many know his name, and he did not copyright it. But the POW/MIA symbol he created, belongs to everyone. It unites Americans from disparate lives all across the nation in a collective mourning for those left behind.
Newt Heisley, the designer of the POW/MIA flag adopted by Congress in 1990 as a symbol of the nation's concern for those missing during military actions in Southeast Asia, has died. He was 88.
Mr. Heisley died at his home in Colorado Springs Thursday after years of failing health, said his son Jim.
Mr. Heisley's image sketched in pencil in 1971 during the Vietnam War shows the silhouette of a gaunt man, a strand of barbed wire and a watchtower in the background with the words POW/MIA "You are not forgotten."
Congress in 1998 mandated the flag be displayed at the White House, U.S. Capitol, military installations and other federal buildings on national observances that include Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The flag also flies at Veterans Affairs medical centers each day, along with the American flag.

The next time the drive-by media laments the passing of some celebu-twit or another.....remember the ordinary citizens like Newt, who have had far more impact on the ideals of this great nation.

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