Monday, September 6, 2010

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

The American Cold War Veterans support a National POW/MIA Day, which is annually recognized on the third Friday in September. This day is set aside to honor the sacrifices made by our country's prisoners of war and those missing in action, as well as their families. We do this to honor the POW/MIAs from WWI, WWI, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan.

The American Cold War Veterans have petitioned Congress to demand a full accounting of all POW/MIAs from all conflicts from the countries involved. We as a country should become involved in this quest. There should be no stone unturned, and no pressure not used to bring home all those brave and dedicated members of our proud military who gave their all.

Until July 18, 1979 there had been no day of recognition for POW/MIAs. In the first year Congress passed resolutions and the national ceremony took place at Washington's National Cathedral. The 1st Tactical Squadron flew the missing man formation. A poster published by the VA contained only the letters POW/MIA. In 1982 a black and white drawing of a POW in captivity was added to show the urgency of the situation.

Every year legislation was issued for a National POW/MIA Recognition Day, until 1985 when Congress determined commemorative days would no longer be considered. Now each year the president signs a proclamation to recognize POW/MIAs. 

The National League of Families suggested that the third Friday in September be used as a National Day of Recognition.
This day is commemorated throughout the nation and around the world on military installations, ships, in schools, churches etc.

One particular service will be held at the National Training Center and Ft. Irwin, CA on September 17 at 10:00AM
on the west lawn of Garrison HQ Building 237. At this ceremony the official awarding of the Purple Heart to Mr. David Villafonte while also recognizing former POW/MIA and Purple Heart recipients from across the installation and the local community.

If you live near Ft. Irwin please plan to attend and pay honor and respect to our valiant warriors. If you are a former POW/MIA please contact Ft. Irwin to be included in the ceremony. Contact Mr. Ray Dixon, Plans Officer at ext. 4789 or email

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996