AVIANO, Italy — Members of the 31st Fighter Wing ran a 21-hour relay ending Thursday as part of a series of events dedicated to the memory of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.

In all, 84 airmen took turns running around a one-mile course, carrying the POW/MIA flag. In some cases, family members and fellow airmen accompanied the flag bearer, while others ran solo.

“We remember the folks that go out and come back as heroes,” Air Force Master Sgt. Jenny Green said. “This week is for the ones that didn’t come back, but we still consider heroes.”

The week’s events included airmen in their dress uniforms, at the entrance to the base exchange Tuesday, reading the names of servicemembers missing in action and ringing a brass bell for each one.

At the end of the relay, the flag was handed off to a group of about 40 airmen from the Logistics Readiness and Civil Engineer Squadrons, who marched six miles around the inner perimeter of Aviano Air Base, to the wing’s headquarters as the culmination of the events.

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