This is a Community Announcement. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, please send them to Matt Butler at

The Tompkins County Veterans Services Department is extending a community invitation to the annual public watchfire event honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action. The event also will provide an opportunity to dispose of unserviceable American flags respectfully and properly. The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16, at Myers Park in Lansing.

J.R. Clairborne, Director of the Department states, “This is an important event for our community, especially for our Veterans. Thanks to our local VVA chapter and the many supporters who are responsible for continuing this tradition for more than 30 years. I hope the community will join us and learn more about the price of military service to our nation as well as honor those missing.”

The event is sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 377 and pays homage to the ancient tradition of lighting a large fire following a long day of battle or march so that the missing or lost can find the way back to their comrades. The watchfire will be attended by local veterans, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets, and organizations supporting active duty and prior-service members of the military, families, friends, and supporters.

The Tompkins County Veterans Services Department connects local Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces – and their families – with federal, state, and local resources. The Department, located at 214 W. Martin Luther King, Jr./State St., Ithaca, also can assist with the respectful and proper disposal of unserviceable American flags during normal business hours.