National POW-MIA Memorial Dedication

Set for September 16th at Riverside National Cemetery

Palm Springs, CA (September 2005) – The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has helped make a long-time dream come true. After years of effort by volunteers, veterans’ organization, local businesses, regional Native American tribes and federal agencies, the National Prisoner of War / Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Memorial has become a reality.

“While the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a sovereign nation, we are also American patriots,” said Tribal Chairman Richard M. Milanovich. “Speaking on behalf of all Native American veterans, and as a veteran myself, we take enormous pride in seeing our POW/MIA servicemen remembered and honored in this way.” The Tribe also previously contributed $50,000 to the National Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery that was dedicated in November 1999.

Chairman Milanovich will take part in the dedication ceremony of the National Prisoner of War / Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Memorial along with other Tribal leaders and dignitaries. The memorial sculpture will be unveiled and dedicated on Friday, September 16 at 4 p.m., at the Riverside National Cemetery (RNC), 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, Calif. The public is invited.

“The Agua Caliente and the Morongo tribes both saw the value of honoring our veterans and stepped up with large donations. They stood with us, giving our project the credibility that inspired others to join us,” said Paul Adkins, Chair of the RNC Support Committee.

The memorial, sculpted in bronze by Vietnam veteran Lewis Millett, Jr., depicts an American POW, arms bound behind his back, his eyes lifted to the heavens in search of rescue. Placed within a semicircle of granite plinths in the RNC’s “Field of Honor,” the memorial honors the over 607,000 U.S. prisoners of war and 170,000 servicemen and women listed as missing in action since the Revolutionary War.