Friday, September 20, 2013

POW/MIA Recognition Day

Today is the third Friday of September – observed annually in the US as Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day.  Ceremonies of remembrance will be held today across this country paying homage to our wartime Armed Forces personnel who have been or are being held captive and to those who are missing in action.

It was the 101st Congress that designated the National League of POW/MIA Families’ black and white flag “as the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.”

The flag features a white disk bearing in black silhouette a man’s bust, a watch tower with a guard on patrol and a strand of barbed wire.  White letters – POW and MIA – with a 5-pointed star in between, are typed above the disk.  Below the disk is a black and white wreath above the motto “You are Not Forgotten” written in white capital letters.

The flag was designed by Newt Heisley.  The silhouette is based on Heisley’s son who was medically discharged from the military.  As Heisley look at his returning son’s gaunt features, he imagined what life was like for those behind barbed wire fences on foreign shores. 

The flag is a visual reminder to remember the sacrifices of POW/MIA service members and their families.  It is flown on six occasions throughout the year:  Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day.  Civilians are free to display it year-round.

It is the resolve of the People of the
United States to never forget POWs or
those who served their country in
conflicts and are still missing.

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