Memorial for KIA Alan Craig Mulford

Clinton Asks for MIAs Accounting
By KEVIN GALVIN Associated Press Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - President Clinton commemorated Veterans Day today by calling for ``the fullest possible accounting'' of all Americans still missing in action, as remains of three soldiers killed in the Korean War headed home to the United States.
Speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Clinton applauded the recovery of the remains, which were handed over by North Korea and flown to an air base in Japan.
``They are coming home tonight,'' Clinton said. ``But we must not waver in our common effort to make the fullest possible accounting for all our MIAs, for all their families to have their questions answered.''
About 8,200 U.S. servicemen are still listed as missing from the Korean War. Since 1996, the United States has recovered remains believed to be those of 42 Americans.
Clinton said Americans owe a debt of gratitude to all of those who went to war and ``gave up not only the life they were living, but the life they would have lived,'' for the sake of freedom.
``Every single veteran's life we honor today was just that: a life, just like yours and mine ... a life that should have been able to play its full course,'' Clinton said. ``We clearly have a responsibility to stand in the breach for them. We are not just the beneficiaries of their bravery. We are the stewards of their sacrifice.''
At Arlington, the president placed a flower wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and exhorted the nation to honor its servicemen and women by renewing the commitment to peace.
The president noted that Veterans Day, once known as Armistice Day, was established to honor the end of World War I by a generation that couldn't have fathomed the four wars that followed: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. ``Standing by our veterans means more than simply preparing people to fight wars and taking care of them when they come home,'' Clinton said. ``We also must work with equal determination to prevent wars.''
Clinton honored two World War II veterans: the late Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., who fought at Guadalcanal, one of the worst battles in the Pacific, as a 19-year-old Marine lieutenant; and Coast Guard Capt. Earl Fox, 80, the last veteran from that war still on active duty.
Fox retires next week.
Thursday November 11,1999 AP


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