Symposium features speakers held captive in times of war

Several POWs were in attendance at Friday's symposium and exhibit unveiling (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

By Sonya

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Patriot's Point held a special symposium Friday called Internment in Times of War, which is part of their WWII 70th anniversary series.

It was a chance to learn about the struggles of people held captive in times of war and for the public to get an interactive history lesson.

"We felt like to depart to something a little bit different rather than normally what we would do with planes and ships and things like that is to look at the realities of being interned," said Mac Burdette, Executive Director at Patriot's Point.

Several panelists were brought in to talk about their stories. Colonel Quincy Collins was one of the distinguished speakers; he was a POW for 7.5 years.

"It was hot, it was cold, it was hungry -- a lot hungry and that bare light bulb that was always burning and that stinking pot that you had to use was right there in the room with you all the time," said Colonel Quincy Collins, Vietnam Prisoner of War.

But Collins says his faith got him through those difficult times.

"If you want to live and you have something to live for, you'll try to survive so it just was a survival deal with a lot of help from God," said Collins.

The museum hopes that these survivor's stories can inspire others, especially the younger generations.

"We hope that these stories will send a great message to the young people today and at the same time thank these veterans that were prisoners for many case so many years," said Burdette.

The new exhibit includes various artifacts from the POWs and other survivors including pajamas, plastic drinking cup, bowl, and spoon. There will also be a replica of a Hanoi Hilton cell.

The museum streamed the event on their website so that students across the county could get a live dose of history.