2016 NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY September 16th
National POW/MIA Recognition Day will be observed on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. This annual event honors our missing service members and their families, and highlights the government’s commitment to account for them. Across the country, local POW/MIA ceremonies are encouraged throughout POW/MIA Recognition Week, culminating with countless events and the national ceremony in Washington, DC, on Recognition Day. Support for these missing Americans and their families is deeply felt. America’s POW/MIAs should be honored and recognized, rather than memorialized, with the focus on continuing commitment to account as fully as possible for those still missing. Strong, united support by the American people is crucial to achieving concrete answers.
2016 Recognition Day Events
Arlington Legion honors POW/MIA veterans for 2nd year in a row
Kirk Boxleitner/Staff Photo
Arlington American Legion Post 76 member David Delancy re-secures the cordon around the POW/MIA table in the Legion Lounge Sept. 16.
- by KIRK BOXLEITNER, Marysville Globe Reporter
- Sep 19, 2016 at 12:00AM updated at 2:39PM
ARLINGTON — For the second-straight year, Arlington American Legion Post 76 honored military who have been prisoners of war or missing in action Sept. 16.
The Legion Lounge set up its empty POW/MIA table more than a year before their first ceremony in 2015.
Post member and Vietnam veteran Marty Cress explained that the event was started to give POWs and MIAs a day of observance, separate from the Legion’s commemorations of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Cress, who serves as the post’s POW/MIA chairman, reflected Sept. 16 on his own recent but minor illness to acknowledge how fortunate he was, estimating that close to 30 percent of American POWs have died from insufficiently treated illnesses while in captivity.
“When they got sick, they didn’t have access to the medicine they needed,” Cress said. “Their wives weren’t there to pamper them and put them to bed. They had to suffer alone. It’s not right that any of us should feel sorry for ourselves, with what they went through.”
Cress credited those who maintained the POW/MIA table throughout the year, as a symbol of that sacrifice.
“They clip the bottom of the rose, pour water from the cooler into the vase, and place salt and a fresh lemon slice on the table daily,” Cress said. “Every Monday, there’s a fresh rose in the vase.”
The funds raised from the dinner and raffle contests following the ceremony go toward placing a new rose on the table for more than a year to come.
Cress explained the red rose stands for the blood that POWs and MIAs have shed for their country, while the table on which it’s placed is set for one, to remind us of the frailty of one prisoner.The table’s square top signifies that America will search “the four corners of the earth” for its missing military members, and the white tablecloth shows the purity of the service of members’ intentions.
“The ribbon tied to the vase denotes that we bear witness and demand a proper accounting,” Cress said, as members of the Arlington Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion placed each item on the table.
Cress further elaborated that the napkin and silverware are reflective of simple luxuries that POWs and MIAs cannot take for granted, while the lemon symbolizes their bitter fate and the salt their tears.
“We long for answers after decades of uncertainty,” Cress said. “The glass on the table is inverted because they cannot drink a toast with us. The candle is lit, to illuminate their way home.”
A Bible was placed on the table in honor of the strength that service members gain from their faith and their country, while the chair’s emptiness stands for all POWs and MIAs.
Representatives of each branch of service stepped forward as Cress called out their numbers of POWs and MIAs — 514 for the Army, 359 for the Navy, 508 for the Air Force and 206 for the Marine Corps. Although the Coast Guard had no POWs or MIAs, Cress added that their ranks included troops killed in Vietnam.
Macy Oteri/THE REVIEW
BY ALANA STEWART
On Friday morning, as most university students shuffled to their 8 a.m classes, the first group of the university Air Force and Army ROTC cadets were beginning to run, and the groups wouldn’t stop running until 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
The cadets ran continuously around Main Street., hoisting the haunting, black POW/MIA flag high with the words “You Are Not Forgotten” embroidered across the bottom. Other cadets stood as honor guards on the Academy building lawn at either side of the Veterans memorial.
These cadets were participating in the 10th annual 24-hour vigil to honor those service members who are POW/MIA. The vigil was held by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the university Air Force and Army ROTC.
Cadet Capt. Alexander Van Patten was in charge of assigning cadets to their posts either running the flag or acting as honor guards.
“A lot of people think…why is it worth it to run endless laps for 24 hours with the POW/MIA flag?” Van Patten said. “It’s because it reminds us of the vigilance that those POW and MIA need [in order] to get through their hardship.”
The vigil, Van Patten said, is two-fold. It is not only held to increase civilian awareness but also to remind the students in the ROTC program of the harsh reality that they may have to face one day. Many of the volunteers at the vigil were students who are hoping to serve after they graduate.
“This is a very real threat that could happen to us,” Van Patten said. “It’s important for us to keep that in mind.”
The vigil also included a ceremony inviting anyone to come and honor the 83,000 service members who are either missing or unaccounted for. The ceremony included a speech given by Capt. Laura Covalesky, an assistant professor in the aerospace studies department at the university.
“The [POW/MIA] flag stands for a symbol of hope,” Covalesky said. “Hope is an astounding force.”
As the ceremony progressed, dozens of people walked past, stopping to pay their respects or to get a closer look at the model barracks set up across the lawn of the Academy Building; the barracks offered a glimpse of the conditions many POWs have to endure.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the cadets continued to run by, holding the flag and showing no signs of exhaustion or slowing down. The honor guards standing at either side of the memorial did not flinch or hunch over — there was a sense of pride, hope and honor emanating from the the vigil’s volunteers.
“Hope is the belief…that things will get better,” Covalesky said. “[And] to our POW/MIA, we will never, ever forget.”
Let us know about your upcoming Recognition Day events!
Ceremony at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi to Commemorate
30th Anniversary of “Michigan Remembers” POW/MIA Memorial and
37th Annual POW/MIA Recognition Day
September 8, 2016
Novi, Mich. — The POW Committee of Michigan will host a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens in Novi, Michigan to mark the 30th anniversary of the “Michigan Remembers” POW/MIA Memorial and the 37th annual observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The Memorial, located on the outside east wall of the Oakland Hills chapel & mausoleum building, was unveiled and dedicated on Friday, September 18, 1986.
The Sept. 16 ceremony will feature keynote remarks by Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall. The event will also include the placing of remembrance wreaths, special acknowledgments highlighting 30 years at the Oakland Hills site for POW/MIA Recognition Day, and a reading of the names inscribed on the Memorial. Debbie Piepsney, President of the POW Committee of Michigan, will serve as MC.
First observed in 1979, National POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day when the nation pauses to honor returned prisoners of war, remember those U.S. military members and civilians who remain missing from past wars, and to support ongoing search efforts to find those who have not been recovered. As required by law the POW/MIA flag will fly over federal facilities, including the White House; military installations; and veterans’ memorials nationwide on this day. Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed September 16, 2016 as POW/MIA Recognition Day in the State of Michigan as well.
Nearly 4,400 American military personnel remain missing from WWI; 73,126 from WWII (2,476 from Michigan); 7,802 from the Korean War (347 from Michigan); 126 from the Cold War (4 from Michigan); 1,618 from the Vietnam War (49 from Michigan); and 6 from Iraq and other wars.
The Sept. 16 ceremony at Oakland Hills is open to the public.
Debbie Piepsney: 734-395-4697 or email@example.com
Marty Eddy: 248-214-6398 or Eddypowmia@aol.com
The POW Committee of Michigan is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated on July 17, 1973 by POW/MIA family members. The objectives of the Committee remain the same today as they were in 1973: the release of all US prisoners of war; the fullest possible accounting for those still missing; and the repatriation of all recoverable remains.
Frankston Memorial VFW Post 5073 is looking for family members of POW/MIA’s to attend a Banquet they are hosting on September 18th to honor them for the sacrifices they made for us and this country. Contact Ms. Jeanne Smith for a more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
POW/MIA ceremony slated Sept. 15
Team Robins will remember and honor the sacrifice of America’s prisoners of war and those missing in action during the Robins POW/MIA organization’s annual recognition ceremony Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Museum of Aviation’s Hangar One
The ceremony’s guest speaker will be ex-POW, and retired Chaplain (Col.) Robert G. Certain. Certain was a B-52 Stratofortress navigator flying over 100 missions during the Vietnam War before being shot down on December 18, 1972. He was later released on March 29, 1973 after being held as a POW for 100 days.
Upon return Certain became a chaplain until he retired in 1999. The ceremony is one of many events being held at the base in honor of the National POW/MIA Recognition Day. This day is observed annually, on the third Friday in September and was established by Congress in Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act. It is one of only six days the POW/MIA Flag can be flown.
According to event coordinators, a 24-hour Vigil Run will kick off the recognition beginning at 3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the museum.
Time slots are currently available for the run, which invites participants to sign up in 15 minute or longer increments. The goal is to keep the baton/flag moving for the entire 24-hour period of time leading up to the ceremony.
Participants are welcome to bring their office, flight, section, division, branch, family or pets, and may walk or run at their own pace.
For more information on the ceremony, contact Tech. Sgt. Neil Smith at email@example.com. To sign up for the run contact Staff Sgt. Denea Fayall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognition Day 2015
Tyndall AFB POW MIA Ceremony
National POW/MIA Recognition Day 2015 – YouTube
National POW/MIA Recognition Day 2015 ceremony hosted by USS Stockdale (DDG-106) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110.)
Video from USS Stockdale/USS Lawrence POW-MIA day ceremony
On September 18, 2015, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 671, Savannah, GA, honored and remembered those still missing from the Vietnam War and wars and conflicts further past. Picture #1 is of Chapter President and Vietnam Veteran Allen Harvey, along with COL John Kline, USA, Commander, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Hunter Army Air Field, LTC Mike Squires, USA, Hunter Army Air Field Garrison Commander; #2 if of Ms. Helen Stone, Chatham County Commissioner, reading the Chatham County proclamation, held by Mr. Harvey; #3 reading the name of each MIA still missing from the State of GA; #3 is Command Sergeant Major Michael Dove guest speaker #4 is Mrs. Susan Harvey, Region II Coordinator and MIA Sister-in-Law, National League of POW/MIA Families. Photos were provided by Nancy Gould, Public Affairs Specialist, Hunter Army Air Field.
Regional Coordinator Liz Flick was invited to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. She chose September 19, 2015, as being closest to National POW/MIA Recognition Day – that day was not an option. She was accompanied by her husband, Bob, daughter Julee, son Andy (who took photos) and grandson Carter who helped lay the wreath. Members of the Old Guard acceded to her request to have a small POW/MIA flag inserted in the wreath. Liz stated, “It was an intense emotional experience, and an honor and privilege.”
2014 NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY
September 19, 2014 will be proclaimed by the President as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Over the past several years, all or most of the 50 states have proclaimed POW/MIA Recognition Day in conjunction with the national effort. The League has asked each state to issue a proclamation, so please contact your Governor and ask for his/her support and a copy of your state’s proclamation! Across the country, local POW/MIA ceremonies are encouraged throughout POW/MIA Recognition Week, culminating with countless events and the national ceremony in Washington, DC, on Recognition Day. Support for these missing Americans and their families is deeply felt. America’s POW/MIAs should be honored and recognized, rather than memorialized, with the focus on continuing commitment to account as fully as possible for those still missing. Strong, united support by the American people is crucial to achieving concrete answers. Learn more: Recognition Day-9-19-14
Capt. Doug Carpenter, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Naples,
gives a speech after an official table presentation for National POW/MIA Recognition Day held in the Capodichino Piazza, Sept. 19. Carpenter gave first-hand accounts of ongoing efforts to account for missing Americans with his recent positions serving at the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price)
CAPT Douglas Carpenter, USN Commanding Officer, NSA Naples 9-19-14
“Today, as the POW/MIA flag is raised in communities across America, we
pledge to live by its creed, ‘You Are Not Forgotten,”‘ said Capt. Doug
Carpenter, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Naples and guest
speaker at the official table ceremony, Sept. 19. “We are committed to our
former POWs, to the fullest possible accounting of our missing, and their
families, from all wars and all of our nation’s past conflicts, just as we
are committed to those who wear the uniform today.”
The C4I First Class Petty Officer Association organized the official table
presentation for National POW/MIA Recognition Day and arranged for the table
to be displayed in Capodichino’s Bella Napoli.
“No other country has devoted as much energy and so many resources to
account for its fallen,” said Carpenter. “We do the business because we
believe that life is precious, and because those who put their lives on the
line for this country need to know that we spare no effort to bring them
Staff Sgt. Madison Robbins salutes the POW/MIA flag after ceremoniously
setting a table during a presentation for National POW/MIA Recognition Day
held in the Capodichino Piazza of Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 19.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price)
Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Shaun Knight places salt on
the plate to symbolize the family’s tears as they wait and remember during
an official table presentation for National POW/MIA Recognition Day held in
the Capodichino Piazza of Naval Support Activity Naples, Sept. 19. (U.S.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price)
Ann Mills-Griffiths was the Keynote Speaker at the Air Force Memorial Recognition Day Ceremony Sept. 19, 2014
Bahar Hess, Billie Elliot and Ann Mills Griffiths
Remarks – Ann Mills-Griffiths
Air Force Memorial
September 19, 2014
POW/MIA Principles – Why They Matter
Very pleased to be here today, national POW/MIA recognition day, and appreciate being asked by Ms. Taylor. All of us here today believe in standing behind those who serve out country, including those captured or who become missing.
Over the years, since the 1973 end of active U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, the league has worked hard, with many ups and down, both politically and in terms of policy, to press for serious efforts by our own government and expanded cooperation from foreign governments.
Ending uncertainty and bringing facts to waiting families and our nation have been the league’s mission for over four decades. During which i served over 30 years as executive director and now as volunteer chairman of the board, though still working in the office full time every day.
Our expectations are and always have been realistic. We just want answers that, according to senior us officials over many years, can readily be provided — if Vietnam’s leaders continue to authorize more serious cooperation and responsiveness.
Overcoming current challenges requires an educated, committed executive branch, backed by informed families, veterans and members of congress, unified behind an approach that can succeed.
The POW/MIA accounting effort is now enduring yet another re-organization, directed by Secretary of Defense Hagel in view of serious dysfunction within the accounting community, there was little option, and we strongly urged, then supported his decision.
As a Vietnam veteran himself, Secretary Hagel is dedicated to improving the accounting effort to more effectivel and efficiently accomplish our longstanding, reasonable objectives. While always vigilant, we support Secretary Hagel’s initiative and are cautiously optimistic his commitment and dedication will prove successful.
Even recognizing the gravity of today’s national security challenges, we know Secretary Hagel to be a man of his word. He gave me his personal commitment last December. We are counting on him to ensure that this time, the major reorganization will resolve many existing problems, resulting in an improved and more effective accounting process.
Having said that, we do have serious concerns due to the tendency at lower levels to pander to false accusations. Most of us have been through this before, and we hope and pray that calm logic and experience will prevail.
We long ago recognized the need for active involvement by the veterans’ community. Support from America’s veterans not only enables the league to continue to fight for answers, but also helps ensure that congress and the executive branch clearly understand that this issue has public support and must be resolved.
The United States must continue to send clear signals that those who serve our nation are not expendable, that they will be accounted for if it is humanly possible.
The Vietnam war POW/MIA issue, and specifically efforts by the league, brought significant changes to our nation and to the world. This is a contribution of which we are, justifiably, proud.
In today’s wars, now compounded by the horrifying isis terrorists, lessons learned were applied, and only one member of our military, became a known pow. S/sgt Bowe Bergdahl, USA, was released in a controversial swap that will be sorted out politically and by the military justice system, but he is home and, especially for his family, we are thankful.
Nations throughout the world now seek accountability for their missing servicemen, no matter the country they served. Seeking answers on a nation’s missing citizens has become a worldwide imperative.
Our quest to account for America’s POW/MIAS from the Vietnam War has given rise to international recognition: you can blame the war, but don’t blame the warrior. Our POW/MIA flag is now the recognized symbol of the principle of nations seeking accountability for those who serve.
In 1997, congress passed the defense authorization act for FY98, including language that mandated flying our POW/MIA flag six days each year: armed forces day, memorial day, flag day, independence day, national POW/MIA recognition day and veterans day.
The league’s POW/MIA flag now must flown at the US capitol; the White House; offices of the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs (where it actually flies daily) and the Office of the Director of the Selective Service System.
On permanent display in the us capitol rotunda since march 9, 1989, our POW/MIA flag also flies at all offices of the US Postal Service, and on the grounds or in the public lobbies of all major military installations, all national cemeteries, and the Korean war, national Vietnam Veterans and World War II memorials.
The league and our nation’s veterans have fought for answers because it is the right thing to do.
As we honor our returned POWs from all our nation’s past wars and conflict, we ask that you renew your commitment to support efforts to account as fully as possible for America’s unreturned veterans, our POW/MIAs and those killed-in-action whose bodies were not recovered.
Thank you for making the effort to be here today, in this inspirational location, built in appreciation to those in our air force who served and serve our nation. Thank you to all who serve our country. God bless them, and God bless America!
West Palm Beach, Fl Veterans Administration Hospital 9-19-14
Frank Plescia, DAV and League Member
Upcoming Recognition Day events across the country
- send us your plans and photos!
From our UK / European Coordinator for the National League of POW/MIA Families
Santa Rosa Memorial Park
POW/MIA DAY A Tribute:
Prisoners of War/Missing In Action
Friday, September 19, 2014
10:00 – Veteran’s Lawn
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 972 in conjunction with the Idaho Falls Military Recruiters present the National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Place: Idaho Falls Greenbelt Trail | City: Idaho Falls, United States
VA to observe POW/MIA Recognition Day on Sept. 19
IRON MOUNTAIN, MI The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, will be holding a National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Pine Grove Country Club.
The public is welcome to attend the ceremony. The ceremony will pay tribute to America’s former prisoners of war who live in the area and those killed or still missing in action.
The keynote speaker is Glenn Johnson of Rhinelander, Wis., a former World War II prisoner of war (POW) who successfully escaped from a German POW camp. The ceremony will include music and readings by VA staff and volunteers.
A private luncheon for the former POWs and their families will follow the ceremony.
Pine Grove Country Club is located at 1520 W. Hughitt St. in Iron Mountain.
Questions regarding the POW/MIA ceremony may be directed to Brad Nelson at (906) 774-3300, extension 32001.
Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)
AFSA POW-MIA 24hr Run McChord Field Please join AFSA Chapter 1461 in our second annual POW/MIA Recognition Day 24-Hour run. The purpose of this event is to recognize our brothers and sisters that are not forgotten and to support the enlisted family, past and present. If you are interested in donating for this cause, please review and complete the information below. All donations support the enlisted community and will enhance the quality of life and morale of the Airmen. Register: email@example.com
Trucksville church group will light watch fires for veterans
Ed Zimmerman, seen here, will be guest speaker at a National POW/MIA Recognition Day event in Trucksville on Sept. 19. In war, watch fires were lit on hilltops and at the mouths of rivers after a battle, so those separated from their units could find their way back.
Fultondale to participate in National POW/MIA Recognition Day Sept. 19
FULTONDALE, Alabama – The city of Fultondale will honor the nation’s Missing in Action and Prisoners of War this September.
The Fultondale City Council issued a proclamation recognizing the day during its meeting Monday. Mayor Jim Lowery said in the proclamation he encourages the citizens of Fultondale and the businesses loca…ted in the city, as well as those in surrounding communities, to “Paint Fultondale Black and White” in honor of the service members by placing black and white ribbons, balloons, wreaths and more on their doors, windows and mailboxes. Black and white banners symbolizing America’s POWs and MIAs will be flown over the White House and other national buildings and monuments as a reminder of the country’s obligation to remember the sacrifices made by the service members, according to the proclamation.
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville City Council last week approved a proclamation that makes Friday, Sept. 19 POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The proclamation states that on that day, the stark black and white banner that symbolizes America’s missing in action and prisoners of war will be flown over the White House; U.S. Capitol; the departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs; the Selective Service System headquarters; and more.
A Trussville historical marker
file photo by Ron Burkett
This will be done as “a solemn reminder of our obligation always to remember the sacrifices made to defend our Nation,” the proclamation states.
The proclamation encourages all municipalities to place black and white ribbons, balloons, wreaths and other symbols on their doors, windows and mailboxes. It also encourages all Alabama citizens to dress in black and white on Sept. 19 as a show of honor and remembrance of America’s missing in action and prisoners of war.
Sept. 19 will be a day of tribute.
“…we stand beside their families, and we honor those who are held captive as prisoners of war, we will never forget their sacrifice, nor will we ever abandon our responsibility to do everything in our power to bring them home.”
Annual POW-MIA Recognition Day to be held in Cottondale, AL
The annual POW-MIA Recognition Day will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 19 at the VFW Post 6022, 7001 University Blvd. E. in Cottondale. VFW Post 6022’s ceremony will feature the dedication of the “Missing Man” table, with place settings for one and an empty chair. Also, a local Junior ROTC color guard will present the colors, entertainer Terry Turner will sing the national anthem and other patriotic songs and “Echo Taps” will be perform by two trumpeters from the University of Alabama’s School of Music. The ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information, call the post at 205-553-8040.
POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY STATEMENT
REMEMBER AMERICA’S POWS, MIAS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Sept. 19, POW/MIA Recognition Day, is a day to recognize the men and women who are currently listed as missing and unaccounted-for, and their families who continue to burn the candle of hope.
The VFW is dedicated to obtaining the fullest possible accounting of all of our missing and prays that all the families of the missing will one day welcome their loved ones home from war.
More than 83,000 Americans are currently listed as missing and unaccounted-for, dating back to World War II. The VFW will never rest until our nation has obtained the fullest possible accounting of all of our missing.
VFW leaders will continue to travel to Vietnam, Moscow, the People’s Republic of China and beyond to actively assist our government with the most humanitarian of all humanitarian missions.
A veteran is a veteran, regardless of the color of uniform or the flag they saluted. Now let us work together to bring closure to the families who continue to wait.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 19, 2014
Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) Kittyhawk Chapter 751-sponsored POW/MIA Coin
2013 NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY
It is anticipated that Friday, September 20, 2013, will be proclaimed by President Obama as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Over the past several years, all or most of the 50 states have proclaimed POW/MIA Recognition Day in conjunction with the national effort. The League will ask each state to issue a proclamation, but we need your support! Please contact your Governor and ask for his/her support and a copy of your state’s proclamation.
Across the country, local POW/MIA ceremonies are encouraged throughout POW/MIA Recognition Week, culminating with countless events and the national ceremony in Washington, DC, on Recognition Day. Support for these missing Americans and their families is deeply felt. America’s POW/MIAs should be honored and recognized, rather than memorialized, with the focus on the need to account as fully as possible for those still missing, alive or dead. Strong, united support by the American people is crucial to achieving concrete answers, and now is the time to start planning for this year’s ceremonies. The American people can make the difference.
Remember: Involving the state-level Department of Veterans Affairs, plus state, district and local veteran organizations, is the key to a successful event. Advance publicity must be a priority or attendance will be minimal. In order for the League to accurately respond to media inquiries and measure national awareness impact, please send information regarding activities to League by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail to the League office, or by phone at 703-465-7432.
For guidance: Contact your League State Coordinator or check the League’s web site: www.pow-miafamilies.org. Additional assistance can be sought from state and local governments, military and veteran organizations, ROTC, church groups, civic clubs, etc. A POW/MIA awareness contact should be available at each military installation, and invitations should be extended for military attendance and participation in these events.
To get media coverage: Contact local and state newspapers, magazines, military, church and school publications at least four weeks prior to Recognition Day. Send information packets, available from the League office, to editors, bureau chiefs, columnists and feature editors. If possible, contact a journalist who has written responsible articles on the POW/MIA issue. Write letters to the editor, outlining scheduled events and encouraging community participation.
Advertising: Develop posters and/or flyers to advertise local activities in the windows of area businesses. National POW/MIA Recognition Day posters will be available from the Defense POW/MIA Office (703) 699-1169) or online (http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/pow_day/). An explanation of the poster can be found here.
Invitations: For all events, invitations may be sent to POW/MIA families in your area through the Service Casualty Offices (USA 800-892-2490; USN 800-443-9298; USMC 800-847-1597; USAF 800-531-5501), the CIA 703-874-4270, State Department for missing civilians 202-647-5470, and the League’s national office 703-465-7432. Invitations should also be extended to area veteran organizations, local dignitaries, civic organizations, etc. Speak to local civic clubs, veteran groups and auxiliaries, schools and churches prior to Recognition Day about the POW/MIA issue and plans for educational activities. Get them involved!
Write to your Governor, reinforcing the League’s request for a proclamation supporting National POW/MIA Recognition Day, calling on all citizens to participate in honoring US personnel still missing from our Nation’s past wars, returned POWs, and their respective families. Suggest that the Governor send a copy of your state’s proclamation to the President, Secretaries of State and Defense, and to the Members of Congress in their state delegation.
Write letters to Congress asking them to ensure that adequate funding and personnel are provided each year to underwrite the operational requirements to maintain a high level of effort on accounting for US personnel still missing from past wars. Urge your elected officials to contact the Vietnamese Embassy, 1233 Twentieth Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036, asking for renewed efforts on their part to locate and provide archival records that could expedite the answers we seek in accounting for American POW/MIAs. This serves a two-fold purpose: 1) informing elected officials of constituent involvement; and 2) signaling Hanoi of US Congressional support.
POW/MIA Vigils (for 24 hours or for a specific amount of time related to the number of Americans missing in your area) are meaningful, visible displays of support for the POW/MIA issue. Vigils can include Candlelight Ceremonies, reading of individual names from the state or 50 names representing one missing man from each of the 50 states. Congressional involvement in such events also signals interest in and support for the issue.
Encourage flying the League’s POW/MIA flag at the State Capitol, city hall and other local and state government buildings. Contact fire and police departments, schools and local businesses, requesting display of the POW/MIA flag at all appropriate locations. Check your local office of the U.S. Postal Service to ensure they have a flag and plan to display it, as required by law, at least six mandated days: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Recognition Day, & Veterans Day), if not 24/7. Rededication ceremonies may also be held for flags that are already on display, an ideal event to honor POW/MIAs from all wars. To obtain POW/MIA flags, contact the Ohio Chapter MIA-POW, Mrs. Liz Flick, 614-451-2405.
Distribute POW/MIA flyers available from the League’s national office, 703-465-7432, to ensure updated, factual information is distributed.