National POW/MIA Recognition Day Honors All Sailors ‘Until They Are Home’

Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Dao Sun renders honors to a table dedicated to America’s prisoners of war and missing in action during a ceremony commemorating the Navy’s 236th birthday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Travis Simmons/Released)

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The Navy will join the nation in commemorating Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Recognition Day Sept. 21, as announced in NAVADMIN 262/12.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of observance for all Americans to offer remembrance, honor, and respect to service members who were prisoners of war and those who remain missing as a result of the nation’s conflicts.

The 2012 national theme, “Until They Are Home,” pays special tribute to the families of these service members who have sacrificed and endured on behalf of their loved ones.

“National POW/MIA Recognition Day gives us the opportunity to honor the sacrifices of our POW/MIA service members, and to reaffirm our sacred promise to our nation to bring every warrior home,” said Rear Adm. Martha Herb, director of personnel readiness and community support. “This year’s theme especially recognizes family members of our POW/MIA Sailors, many of whom continue to wait for the return of their loved ones.”

All commands are encouraged to host or support local POW/MIA Recognition Day activities. Suggested activities include displaying the missing man table in a unit work space and hosting formal ceremonies in which a former POW or family member of a current MIA Sailor is a guest speaker.

This observance is also one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

Today, more than 33,000 Sailors from World War II through the Persian Gulf War remain unaccounted for. Each year, Navy’s POW/MIA section assists with repatriating Sailors and returning them to their loved ones for burial in our homeland. The Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel office (DPMO) is the U.S. government agency that leads Navy’s effort to account for missing service members.


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