INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Every Veterans Day holds a special place in the heart of Ed Slater, an ex-prisoner of war from the Korean War.
Slater lives in Independence and is Commander of the Ex-POW Heart of America Chapter at the VA hospital in Kansas City, Mo.
"I love the American flag because it stands for freedom," Slater said. "I am proud of the sacrifice I made when I was a POW for our country and for freedom and I would do it again."
Slater talked about being on the run for three weeks behind enemy lines, finally being captured by the North Koreans. He was 19-years-old at the time and said the North Koreans beat him, forced him to walk hundreds of miles without shoes and tortured him with bayonets. He was held captive for three and a half months by the North Koreans
"I made it because if I had given up they would've killed me" Slater said.
At one point, when the North Koreans left him for dead, he managed to escape and was rescued by other American soldiers.
"I would say to other people to appreciate this country and appreciate the American flag," he said.