Empty chair commemorating POW gifted to town

By Lydia Goerner | Jun 13, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner The empty chair, donated by Eastern Bank and refurbished by Bob Powilatis, will serve as a memorial in the Wareham Town Hall.

An empty chair was donated to the Wareham Town Hall this week, honoring military prisoners who remain missing.

Eastern Bank officials presented the chair at Tuesday’s Selectmen meeting. Rose Berry, manager of the bank's Wareham branch, said the bank had extra chairs in storage and she was looking for a nonprofit to give them to.

Bob Powilatis suggested Berry use one of the chairs to honor prisoners of war and Berry thought the idea was “fabulous.”

The chair was polished, a POW flag placed on it and a plaque hangs just below the seat, reading, “We are ever mindful that enduring peace comes by great sacrifice. We must never forget that for our freedoms others endured pain, suffering and imprisonment. This empty chair memorializes and causes us to remember those military who have served our nation during wartime and remain missing.”

The chair will be placed in Town Hall and cordoned off to “give it the respect it deserves,” Berry said.

Powilatis said it has become popular to place an empty POW chair in local government buildings. He said this is a good opportunity for the town of Wareham to show its support for those lost in service.

A plaque hangs beneath the chair explaining its meaning. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
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