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The Air Mobility Command Museum near Dover Air Force Base is opening a new POW/MIA exhibit during a Veterans Day dedication Thursday morning.
The Air Mobility Command Museum near Dover Air Force Base is opening a new POW/MIA exhibit during a Veterans Day dedication Thursday morning. (Facebook)

DOVER AFB, Del. (Tribune News Service) — The Air Mobility Command Museum near Dover Air Force Base is opening a new POW/MIA exhibit during a Veterans Day dedication Thursday morning.

While the 9:30 a.m. ceremony is by invitation only due to COVID restrictions, the event will be livestreamed on the Dover Air Force Base Facebook page.

The guest speaker will be Ralph Galati, a former Vietnam War POW.

Museum director John Taylor said the "Chair of Honor" exhibit features an unoccupied C-5 pilot's seat "honoring those who are still POW or MIA and symbolizes that there will be a place in the museum awaiting their return."

"It gives us the opportunity ... to educate the public, especially our children," said Taylor, who served in the Air Force for 24 years. "This chair is symbolic of POWs and those missing in action so when people walk up to the exhibit, the tour guides can explain what that means."

Taylor was asked about hosting a chair of honor at the museum by the founder and director of the Delaware chapter of A Hero's Welcome, which has organized the POW/MIA tributes throughout the state including at schools, veterans organizations and assisted living centers.

"We've always wanted to do a POW/MIA display here at the museum," said Taylor.

After receiving the request from A Hero's Welcome, the museum's exhibit committee organized the project.

"The committee members thought it was appropriate to use a pilot's chair because many pilots were lost in war and were never recovered," said Taylor.

After the ceremony, the museum at 1301 Heritage Road off of Route 9 will be open to the public until 4 p.m. Ages 2 and older must wear a mask inside.

Regular hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

The museum is dedicated to airlift and air refueling history, featuring over 30 aircraft along with exhibits telling the story of humanitarian and military airlifts and air refueling such as operations during World War II.

The building is a former hanger that was used for a secret rocket development program during WWII when the air base was known as the Dover Army Airfield. The hangar has been restored and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information, visit the website at amcmuseum.org.

rmace@gannett.com.

(c)2021 Dover Post, Del.

Visit Dover Post, Del. at www.doverpost.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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