Memorial service tonight in Virginia Beach for Jeremiah Denton

Posted at 8:56 AM, Apr 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-08 08:56:26-04

A memorial service will be held Tuesday for a former senator who served in the U.S. Navy and was a prisoner of war for nearly eight years in Vietnam.

Jeremiah Denton will be remembered during the service at 6:00 p.m. at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.

Funeral Mass and internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.

Denton died March 28th at age 89.

He may be best remembered for what he did during an interview to alert U.S. officials about the conditions he endured while a prisoner of war.

In 1965, a month after he began flying combat missions for the Navy in Vietnam, Denton was shot down and captured.

While enduring the brutal hardships of POW camp, he blinked the word "torture" in Morse Code during a 1966 interview for what was supposed to be a propaganda film.

Denton was released in 1973 when the war was ending.

He received the Navy Cross, the second-highest decoration for valor - for the blinks.

Denton later became the first Republican from Alabama elected to the U.S. Senate since reconstruction.

After his time in office, Denton spent time in Williamsburg. He died in Virginia Beach from heart problems.