Nancy Polette and Paul Dillon, author and illustrator of N is for Never Forget: POW–MIA A to Z, talk about the origins of their book for middle-grade readers, their desire to preserve and honor the stories of veterans, and the importance and challenge of sharing these stories with children. “The book introduces another generation to the service and sacrifices that men and women have made and continue to make for our freedoms,” Paul says. “We can’t take it for granted.”
Paul Dillon, illustrator of N is for Never Forget: POW-MIA A to Z and president of the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum (his dad was a POW in WWII), tells a story about Dayton Ragland: “When we began the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum project we learned of a POW from the Korean War who went missing in action in Vietnam. His name was Dayton Ragland and he was from Kansas City. We were unable to locate any living family members to learn more about him, so we decided that we would be his family so that his story of heroism and sacrifice would not be forgotten. One day a lady I worked with came up and said that what we were doing with the POW-MIA Museum project was long overdue and that as a teenager growing up in Wisconsin she had worn a POW-MIA bracelet. She still had the bracelet and asked if we would want it for the Museum. I told her we would and if possible we would try to get it to the family of the person on the bracelet. She brought the bracelet in the next day and the name on it was Col. Dayton Ragland.
Listen to Paul tell the story of Ragland, Blassie, and more on Radio Arts Foundation – Saint Louis, 107.3 FM with Kathy Lawton Brown (1/16/18—MP3 / 41MB):