Through the years, a look at summertime in Riverview

GERALD PERRYRiverview Register

Maybe it’s just me but, I’m sure there are those of you who think: “Here’s the 4th of July, and just like that, here is Labor Day, and you ask yourself, “What happened to summer?”

Anyway, among the War Holiday’s we commemorate, a key factor is usually the number of casualties there were during these conflicts. 

Often you find POW-MIA flags displayed along with the US. Flags. While it is noble and right that we honor the war dead, do you ever wonder what  happened to the POW- MIAs from  all these wars? 

Every now and then we hear of a body being discovered and then returned to the U. S. for burial. Locally, the one I know of was our own Pvt. Paul Terry, a Korean War casualty. 

But what about those still classified missing?  I’m sure their parents or siblings wonder about them.

The ones still missing that are included are:

• World War I — 3,350. (Wikipedia) 

• World War II — 72,000 remain unaccounted for. (“Defense POW-MIA accounting agency). 

• Korean War — 7,800 remain unaccounted for. As of 2005 the search was suspended due to security concerns with North Korea. (“Defense POW-MIA accounting agency). 

• Vietnam War — 1,587 remain unaccounted for (Defense POW-MIA accounting agency). 

• Iraq and other Persian Gulf operations — 5 

The number of Prisoners of war, or those Missing in action records are not found before World War I. 

This year because of all the issues of the day, (Coved – 19, and the the racial protests) we just zipped right by Memorial Day, and D Day, the invasion of Nazi-held Europe. 

In one day, the United States lost 1,465 soldiers. In total, the US. lost 9,386 to World War II. 

Rest in peace, all you heroes! 

This 4th of July Day, also known as Independence Day, has gotten past us, too. Let us not forget those who fought for us to become a free nation. Free from the bonds of the dictatorship of Great Britain and their mighty Army. 

The 4th of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution in July of 1776.

In years past, the early 1960s, the City of Riverview celebrated Independence Day with a slew of activities, such as a parade with Floats, Marching bands, sponsored by the American Legion Post 389, a St. Andrews Pipe Band, an Ox Roast, a greased pig chase, a Miss Riverview Contest Pageant, luau dance, water ball fights held by the Fire Department, go-cart races, fireworks, and a whole lot more. 

But as all good things must come to an end, it did. 

For a long while it was hard to resurrect. Volunteers were hard to come by and so the celebration fell on hard times, until a fellow by the name of Mike Shea, Recreation Director, and his gang of hard workers, namely Barb Olsen, Marvin Morris and others, resurrected the celebration and moved it to later in the summer. That became Riverview Days, which later became Summerfest. 

Thanks to a very active Council, the celebration continues under Recreation Director Todd Dickman and his department workers. 

Have a nice summer everyone.

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