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Contact: Stephanie Steinhorst, 229 924-0343, x. 203
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Contacts: Stephanie Steinhorst, Stephanie_Steinhorst@nps.gov, 229 924-0343, x. 203
Former POW Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum to Speak at POW/MIA Events in September
National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day is Friday, September 18, 2015. In honor of that day, the National Park Service, the Friends of Andersonville, and Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) are hosting the 2015 National POW/MIA Convocation at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 16 in the Jackson Hall Auditorium on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University. The public is invited to this free event.
The annual GSW Convocation begins four days of area events in recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The National Park Service invites the public to participate in the 150th anniversary events on September 18, 19 and 20th at Andersonville National Historic Site. Programs and guest speakers will be exploring the experience of Civil War POWs, the end of the Civil War and how soldiers transitioned from the military to civilian life. This event will also host honored guests from The Ride Home organization, throughout the weekend. More information on the “The Ride Home” event may be found at http://theridehome.com/.
This year’s featured speaker is Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, US Army (Retired). Brig. Gen. Cornum, then Major Cornum, was a flight surgeon with the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down on February 27, 1991 during a search and rescue operation. She suffered from numerous injuries including two broken arms and a gunshot in her shoulder; five of the eight crew members died in the crash. She and the other survivors were taken prisoner and held by Iraqi forces for eight days. On March 6, 1991 Cornum and 23 other prisoners of war were released in end-of-war negotiations. Cornum detailed her experiences in her memoir “She Went To War: The Rhonda Cornum Story,” published in 1992. Cornum’s flight suit is on display in the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site. After captivity, she continued a successful Army career including as commander of the 28th CSH, in Bosnia, and of the Landstuhl RMC in Germany, and was Director, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. She serves on the VA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Former POWs. Cornum retired from the military in 2012 and now divides her time between serving on boards, humanitarian efforts on behalf of soldiers and their families, and raising and handling her beloved dogs.
Brig. Gen. Cornum will also be giving a program entitled “Look to the Future, Learn from the Past” at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, September 18 at the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site, as part of the 150th anniversary programs.
Finally, in honor of all service members and to acknowledge the medical and humanitarian efforts of Clara Barton, who raised the first United States flag over Andersonville National Cemetery in 1865, Brig. Gen. Cornum will raise the United States flag at the conclusion of the Funeral for 13,000 service on Saturday, September 19th. This program will take place beginning at 12:45 pm at Andersonville National Cemetery. The keynote speaker for this program is Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey. The public is encouraged to attend this unique event in honor of the fallen Civil War soldiers, and to honor POWs throughout our history. For more information visit, www.nps.gov/ande/planyourvisit/cw150.htm.
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, GA and 10 miles northeast of Americus, GA on Georgia Highway 49. The national park features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the site of the historic Civil War prison, Camp Sumter. Andersonville National Historic Site is the only national park within the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the museum open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande/, or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.