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White House Celebrates National POW/MIA Recognition Day 2018

President Trump proclaimed September 21, 2018 as National POW/MIA Recognition Day 2018. The White House took the opportunity to deliver a message of hope to those with loved ones who are still missing in action (MIA) or prisoners of war (POWs).

“On National POW/MIA Recognition Day,” he said in a Presidential Proclamation, “we honor all American prisoners of war and express our deep gratitude for the courage and determination they exemplified while enduring terrible hardship.”

Prisoners of War and those who are missing in action are recognized each year in an effort to make sure that they are not forgotten. Their families must face a future without the closure of having their loved one’s fate known and often without a place to grieve their loss.

The Origins of POW/MIA Remembrance

The iconic black and white POW/MIA flag was created in 1970 to symbolize the sacrifice that these individuals made. Mrs. Michael Hoff, a member of the National League of POW/MIA Families, spearheaded the project, which was approved by the board in 1972. The POW/MIA flag was created in response to those missing in the Vietnam War but has grown to include all those who are still unaccounted for in war.

“I have pledged my Administration’s best efforts to account for our country’s missing heroes. We continue to work to account for the missing personnel from the Vietnam War,” the proclamation read. “American and partner nation search teams are also working tirelessly in South Korea, Europe, the South Pacific, and elsewhere around the world to recover and identify those who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, and other past conflicts.”

Heroes Return Home

President Trump has been working with the leaders Kim Jung Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea to bring peace to the region. Part of the conversations he has had with both leaders has been about reuniting the remains of those still missing with their families back home.

“I secured a commitment from Chairman Kim to recover and repatriate the remains of those Americans who were prisoners of war or killed in action,” said President Trump. “Last month, we repatriated the remains of some of those courageous service members to American soil. As a result of this homecoming, two of our missing fallen have already been identified, renewing our hope for the fullest possible accounting of the Americans who have yet to be recovered from the Korean War.”

The POW/MIA flag was flown over various prominent buildings in Washington, D.C. on September 21, including the White House, the Capitol Building, the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, and the Selective Service Headquarters Building. The flag was also flown at the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The United States Postal Service and national cemeteries also recognized POW/MIA members by flying the flag as well.

“I call upon the people of the United States to join me in saluting all American POWs and those missing in action who valiantly served our country,” the proclamation concluded.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Katie Begley

Katie Begley is a US Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education, and parenting subjects. Katie has worked in numerous communications roles for volunteer organizations and professionally for a local parenting magazine.

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