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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
This Saturday, the University of Toledo plays the U.S. Navy. That game will feature a special dedication for fans to think about.
In the sea of bleachers there will be one empty chair, representing much more than just a place to sit.
"That will be a seat that no one will be able to sit in, and it's basically a seat of honor," explained U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, military liaison for UT. "It's a way for us to have a constant reminder of the more than 83,000 prisoners of war and missing-in-action since World War II."
The chair will be unveiled during the game Saturday. UT is the first university to designate a POW/MIA seat at one of its sporting venues. As part of the ceremony, there will be a flyover featuring a WWII vintage torpedo bomber.
"As a veteran, it means a lot, that the university is taking the time to do something so special for the men and women that never came home," Ghanbari said.
Ghanbari says he is hoping the chair will be a reminder to fans of those who cannot be at the game.
"While they'll be here with us in though, and in prayer and in spirit, they're not here with us physically," he said. "When the entire stadium is packed and you glance over and see an empty chair, hopefully it's going to cause you to think, ‘Why's the chair empty?'"