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Never forget

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Nearly 140,000 Americans have been held as Prisoners of War since World War II; more than 15,000 died while in captivity. There are more than 82,000 Americans who remain missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the Gulf Wars/ other conflicts. Out of the 82,000 missing, 41,000 of the missing are presumed lost at sea (i.e., ship losses, known aircraft water losses, etc.). Texans account for 5 percent (4,150) of those veterans that never came home.

The United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing National Prisoner of War/MIA Recognition Day to be observed July 18, 1979, and different dates through 1985. From 1986 onwards the date moved to the third Friday of September. The President of the United States each year proclaims National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Many states in the USA also proclaim POW/MIA Recognition Day together with the national effort.

Many Americans across the United States pause to remember the sacrifices and service of those who were prisoners of war ( POW), as well as those who are missing in action (MIA), and their families. All military installations fly the National League of Families’ POW/ MIA flag, which symbolizes the nation’s remembrance of those who were imprisoned while serving in conflicts and those who remain missing.

The National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag symbolizes the United States’ resolve to never forget POWs or those who served their country in conflicts and are still missing. In addition to POW/MIA Recognition Day, the flag is flown immediately below the American flag on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. For every POW/MIA Recognition Day since 1982, the flag has flown just below the stars and stripes at the White House – the only other flag to ever do so. Many agencies and organizations fly the flag year-round.

The traditional POW/MIA flag that’s well-known across America was created many years before the Remembrance Day became official.

In 1971, a woman named Mary Hoff contacted a flag company near her home to see if a flag reminding people of POWs and the missing could be made. She was one of the many waiting to see if her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hoff, would ever return home after his plane had been shot down over Laos.

World War II pilot Newt Heisley designed the now-famous flag, which was made in black and white to represent the sorrow, anxiety and hope symbolized by the image of the gaunt man featured on it.

On Friday, Sept. 20, American Legion Post 640 will be holding an honor and remembrance ceremony at the Anderson Community Center/ Legion Hall located at 415 Hill Street. The ceremony will commence at noon with light refreshments being available at 11:30 a.m.

For more information please visit American Legion McCluskey Post 640 Face-book page or contact us at

Information pulled from: holidays/us/pow-mia-recognition-day