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Pentagon admits misconstruing ceremonies for recovered MIAs

  |   Updated Oct. 10, 2013 at 1:12 PM
HONOLULU, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Defense has admitted that planes used in arrival ceremonies at a base in Hawaii do not carry recently recovered human remains.

The planes also cannot fly, but are towed into position at the ceremonies, which signify the country's commitment to finding and identifying fallen warriors from World War II, Vietnam and Korea, NBC News reported.

The Pentagon, in a statement, said that the flag-draped cases do contain human remains, just not ones arriving in the United States on that day.

Instead, the remains are taken from an identification lab for the ceremony and then brought back to the lab, NBC News reported.

The Pentagon said it will rename the events honors ceremonies, which are held about four times per year.

"The name changed because they've already arrived, technically," said Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith, public affairs officer for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which is charged with returning and identifying the 83,000 missing servicemen and women from the three wars.

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