Proclamation on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2020
Throughout our Nation’s history, America’s sons and daughters have heroically safeguarded our precious freedoms and defended the cause of liberty both at home and abroad. On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember the more than 500,000 prisoners of war who have endured incredible suffering and brutality under conditions of extraordinary privation, and the tens of thousands of our patriots who are still missing in action. Although our Nation will never be able to fully repay our debt to those who have given so much on our behalf, we commemorate their bravery and recommit to working for their long-suffering families who deserve answers and solace for their missing loved ones.
Today, I join a grateful Nation in honoring those POWs who faithfully served through extreme hardship and unimaginable physical and emotional trauma. Their lives and resilience reflect the best of the American Spirit, and their immeasurable sacrifices have ensured the blessings of freedom for future generations. On this day, we also reaffirm our unceasing global efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting of our MIA personnel. The search, recovery, and repatriation of MIA remains help bring closure to families bearing the burden of the unresolved fate of their loved ones. That is why in 2018, I worked to secure the historic repatriation of remains from North Korea, and why we are continually working to bring more home from around the world. My Administration will never waver in fulfilling our country’s obligation to leave no service member behind.
This year, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and reflect upon both the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and the 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, we pause to recognize the men and women who were held as POWs or deemed MIA in these conflicts against repressive ideologies. These service members and civilians, many from the Greatest Generation, deserve a special place of honor in the hearts of all Americans because of their selfless devotion, unflinching courage, and unsurpassed dedication to our cherished American values.
On September 18, 2020, our Nation’s citizens will look to the iconic black and white flag as a powerful reminder of the service of America’s POWs and service members who have gone MIA. This flag, especially when flying high above our military installations abroad, conveys the powerful message of American devotion to the cause of human liberty and our commitment to never forget the brave Americans lost defending that liberty. On this National POW/MIA Recognition Day, our Nation takes a special moment to pay tribute to those who endured the horrors of enemy captivity and those lost in service to our country. Our Nation will continue to be resolute in our relentless pursuit of those remains of service members who have yet to return home from war and our steadfast promise to their families that their loved ones will never be forgotten.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18, 2020, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Together with the people of the United States, I salute all American POWs who, in the presence of great dangers and uncertainties, valiantly honored their duty to this great country. Let this day also serve as a reminder for our Nation to strengthen our resolve to account for those who are still missing and provide their families long-sought answers. I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Arizona Proclamation Arizona.pdf
Hawaii Proclamation Hawaii.pdf
Indiana Proclamation Indiana.pdf
Kentucky Proclamation Kentucky.pdf
Louisiana Proclamation Louisiana.pdf
Massachusetts Proclamation Massachusetts.pdf
Missouri Proclamation Missouri.pdf
New Hampshire Proclamation New_Hampshire.pdf
New Jersey Proclamation New_Jersey.pdf
Pennsylvania Proclamation Pennsylvania.pdf
Tennessee Proclamation Tennessee.pdf
Texas Proclamation Texas.pdf
West Virginia Proclamation West_Virginia.pdf
Wyoming Proclamation Wyoming.pdf
2020 NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY
September 18, 2020 will soon 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 a countless number of events and the national ceremony in Washington, DC, on Recognition Day. Support for Americans missing and unaccounted-for in wartime, and their families, is deeply felt. America’s POW/MIAs can be honored and recognized, but not memorialized. The focus should be on sustaining commitment to account for them as fully as possible. Strong, united, active support by the American people is crucial to achieving concrete answers. Now is the time to plan for this year’s ceremonies. Thus far, the American people, especially our supportive veterans, have made 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 may 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 Office Administrator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to the League office.
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 previously written responsible articles on the POW/MIA issue. Write letters to the editor, outlining scheduled events and encouraging community participation.
Outreach & Communication: Distribute National POW/MIA Recognition Day posters, available from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) following the June 20th unveiling at the League’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting. Thereafter, it can be ordered online at the DPAA website, www.dpaa.mil, from the Military Services, major national Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), or by calling DPAA at 703-699-1420 or 1169. Develop flyers to advertise local events and activities that can be posted in the windows of local area businesses, along with the National POW/MIA Recognition Day posters.
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 202-485-6106, 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 Members of Congress in their state’s delegation.
Write letters to Congress asking them to ensure that adequate funding and personnel are provided each fiscal year to underwrite operational requirements necessary to sustain a high level of effort on accounting for US personnel still missing from past wars. Urge your elected officials to contact the Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian, Russian Federation and PRC Embassies. Ask them for renewed efforts to locate and provide archival records that would expedite the answers we seek in accounting for America’s UNRETURNED Veterans. This serves a two-fold purpose: 1) informing elected officials of constituent concern and involvement; and 2) signaling US and foreign governments 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 accounting effort. 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 participation 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. If already posted or being flown, thank the responsible senior official (governor, mayor, county supervisor, etc.). Contact fire and police departments, schools and local businesses to request display of the POW/MIA flag at all appropriate locations. Check your local office of the US Postal Service to ensure they have a flag and plan to display it, as required by law, at least six mandated days each year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, & Veterans Day, if not 24/7. Rededication ceremonies may also be held for flags already on display, an ideal event to honor POW/MIAs from all wars and reinforce the need for answers. To obtain POW/MIA flags, contact the Ohio Chapter MIA-POW, Mrs. Liz Flick, 614-451-2405.
Distribute POW/MIA brochures available from the League’s national office, 703-465-7432 or the League’s website, www.pow-miafamilies.org, to ensure updated, factual information is distributed.
Encourage colleges, universities, military-related schools and organizations such as Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), to Organize a POW/MIA Run in your local area to show support and raise funds for the League, a 501 ( c ) 3 nonprofit organization (FEIN 23-7071242). Distribute League-originated, factual information along advertised routes, as well as brochures, bumper stickers, decals and other awareness materials