Gov. Scott signs bill for POW-MIA chair in Florida Capitol

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Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Friday HB 731, a bill setting up the latest display in the Florida Capitol complex—an empty chair honoring those prisoners of war or missing in action.

Another bill waiting for Scott’s signature adds another state hall of fame — the fifth in the Florida Capitol rotunda — to recognize contributions of Floridians to the tourism industry.

“The POW-MIA Chair of Honor Memorial will be a reminder to all Floridians of those Americans who have been prisoners of war or are still missing in action, that we should never forget their sacrifices in service to our great nation,” said POW-MIA bill Senate sponsor Port Orange Republican Sen. Dorothy Hukill. Construction and maintenance of the POW-MIA Chair will be by Florida chapters of the non-profit Rolling Thunder, Inc., a group to increase awareness of American POW-MIAs.

Sen. Nancy Detert sponsored SB 398, which creates the tourism hall of fame, will recognize those in the tourism industry who have made significant contributions to the economic environment and well-being of all Floridians, according to the language of the bill.

Set aside on the Florida Capitol rotunda walls are also halls of fame honoring Florida artists, civil-rights leaders, veterans and women. In addition, there are a Wall of Honor for Florida Fallen Firefighters, as well as a memorial dedicated to Florida recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.