Friday, September 21st, is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Observed across the nation on the third Friday of September, it is a time for all Americans to remember those who were Prisoners of War (POW) and those who are Missing in Action (MIA), as well as their families and loved ones.
MicroTech, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned business, recognizes the importance of taking time to reflect on and remember the sacrifices and service of all POWs, those still missing, and their families. While not a federal public holiday in the United States, the day is a national observance and a chance to thank all those who have given so much for our freedoms.
The United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be observed on July 18, 1979. The date has moved around over the years until in 1986 when the date moved to the third Friday of September. Each year, the President of the United States proclaims National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office lists 1,657 American personnel as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War (http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/pow_day). Since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, more than 800 United States personnel have been accounted for. Of those still listed as missing, about 90% were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control (http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/). A complete listing of American personnel missing and unaccounted for from past conflicts is provided in the chart below.
Everyone is encouraged to pause and remember the sacrifices and service of all the men and women recognized on this important day.
Statistics from the Defense Prisoner of War * Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)Unaccounted for from Past Conflicts
Iraq & Other Conflicts
* Reflects actual number still unaccounted-for. PMKOR database count is slightly higher due to several entries pending administrative review.
* The number represents those missing from World War II as determined from the congressionally-mandated “World War II Return of the Dead Program,” (which ended Dec. 31, 1951), and the final 1956 Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) roster which listed all WWII individuals considered unresolved by AGRS at that point (it contained 80,871 names but included 6,299 men officially buried at sea who are not considered missing). The present total reflects those numbers as well as those recovered and identified since 1956 and will continue to be updated as ongoing identifications are made or as research supports adjustments to the list.