WARREN - Tom Seese sat in the bamboo cage in Courthouse Square Friday morning thinking about his friends and colleagues who were left behind in Vietnam.
Seese was one of many veterans who participated in Trumbull County's official POW-MIA Recognition Day Observance.
Serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years, he spent 13 months in Vietnam.
"I'm here to show recognition for those who did not come home," he said. "Those that either were prisoners of war or who died in battle. We want people to know that we still are concerned and still working to bring everyone who served their country home."
John and Shirley Cross placed a rose during the laying of the roses ceremony in honor of John's brother, James Emory Cross, an Air Force pilot whose plane went down in Laos in 1970.
James Cross was considered missing in action for 38 years, before his body was found three years ago.
Tom Seese sits in the bamboo cage set up Friday on Courthouse Square in Warren. Seese served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years, 13 months of which was in Vietnam.
"We were contacted by someone in Texas who told us his remains were found," John Cross said. "My mother already had passed away, but my father was still alive. Having my brother's remains brought back to the U.S. was very, very important to him.
"We had a ceremony here and then he was buried in Arlington Cemetery."
While specifically attending the POW-MIA ceremony to honor his brother, John Cross said it is important that people recognize the sacrifices of all those who served as well as those who lost their freedoms, regardless how long they were involuntarily detained.
Thomas and Janice Ferebee Jarrett attended the ceremony for Thomas' brother Michael Donald Jarrett, who died on Nov. 16, 1968.
Michael Jarrett was one of six boys in the Jarrett family. He was the only one of the Jarrett brothers who died while in service. Two of the other Jarrett brothers also served in the military.
"Michael was a great brother," Thomas said. "I hate that he was taken away from us."
Capt. Mike Yates, a range operations manager at Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, told the audience of about 60 people that it was 42 years ago that a wife of a missing service member, Mary Hoff, realized that symbol was needed to remind people of the plight of missing service members.
"It is the only flag besides Old Glory that has flown above the White House," he said of the black POW-MIA banner. "In 1989, it was installed in the Capitol Rotunda, as a symbol of our nation's commitment to fully account for those who are still missing."
Yates described Friday's ceremony as a pledge that the nation will not leave any member of the nation's military behind.
"No other country has devoted such energy and so many resources to account for our fallen," he said. "We do this because we believe that every life is precious. We will spare no effort to bring them home."