[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 12, 2008
Observances

Nation to honor commitment 
to POWs/MIAs Sept. 19

More than a half million Americans have been captured and interned as prisoners of war (POW) since the American Revolution.  Those numbers include more than 142,000 Americans captured and interned as POWs since World War I, and nearly 100 women.

Graphic: POW/MIA Logo.

Many came home, but many more remain missing.

On National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day Sept. 19, Americans honor the commitments and sacrifices made by the nationís prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action.

The country also honors the courage of their families and friends, who live with the uncertainty of not knowing the fate of the missing.

Since World War II, nearly 88,000 men and women in uniform remain unaccounted for. Almost 90 percent of those service-members served during World War II.

"Keeping the Promise' to air on McCoy TV-6

"Keeping the Promise," a video about personnel accounting and personnel recovery, will play on the TV-6 Bulletin Board from Sept. 12-25 in recognition of National POW/MIA Recognition Day Sept. 19.

The Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO) and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) work to keep the promise America has made to its military members and their families that they will never leave a fallen comrade behind.

The DMPO estimates 26,000-36,000 of those still missing are recoverable. More than 1,300 servicemembers who have gone missing while serving in World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War have been identified since 1973.

Since October 2007, the remains of more than 70 servicemen have been identified and returned to their families for burial, including WWII Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen missing for more than 60 years. Three Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Soldiers ó Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin, Sgt. Alex Jimenez and Pfc. Byron Fouty ó also were returned home for burial. Maupinís unit, the 724th Transportation Company demobilized at Fort McCoy in 2005. Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie, an Iraqi-born translator and Reserve Soldier who was abducted by gunmen in October 2006, remains the only Soldier listed as missing in OIF

History and the POW/MIA flag

The first official commemoration honoring American POW/MIAs was July 18, 1979.

During that year, resolutions were passed by Congress, and a national ceremony was held at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

The date varied between July and April until 1986, when the third Friday in September was designated as a compromise date.

On Sept. 19, 1986, the national ceremony was held on the steps on the U.S. Capitol facing the Mall.

First adopted by the National League of POW/MIA Families in 1971, the POW/MIA flag was designated by Congress in 1990 as the symbol of the nationís concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner or missing.

Today the flag flies at National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies held around the nation and the world, reminding America of its responsibility to stand behind those who serve and to do everything possible to account for those who do not return.

(See POW/MIA Word Search)

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