The National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 through a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has issued an annual proclamation commemorating the day.
A national-level ceremony is held at the Pentagon featuring members from each branch of military service. Observances are also held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitals, schools, and veteran facilities. Ceremonies share the common purpose of honoring those who were held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing.
You Are Not Forgotten-that is the central phrase behind the POW/MIA remembrance movement which honors America’s prisoners of war, those still missing in action, and their families. Many of our service members suffered as prisoners of war during several decades of varying conflicts. While some of them made it home, tens of thousands never did. The point of this day is to ensure that America remembers to stand behind those who serve and to make sure we do everything we can to account for those who have never returned.
81,900 Americans remain missing from WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Cold War the Gulf Wars, and other conflicts.