You Are Not Forgotten – that’s the central phrase behind the POW/MIA remembrance movement which honors America’s prisoners of war, those who are 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 more never did.
POW/MIA Recognition Day is commemorated on the third Friday of every September, a date that is not associated with any particular war. In 1979, Congress and the president passed resolutions making it official after the families of the more than 2,500 Vietnam War POW/MIAs pushed for full accountability.
The point of POW/MIA Recognition Day is to ensure that American remembers to stand behind those who serve and to make sure we do everything we can to account for those who have never returned
To comprehend the importance of this movement, all one needs to do is look at the sheer number of Americans who have been listed as POW/MIAs.
Prisoners of War:
- 130,201 World War II service members were imprisoned; 14,072 them died
- 7,140 Korean War service members were imprisoned; 2,701 of them died
- 725 Vietnam War service members were imprisoned; 64 of them died
- 37 service members were imprisoned during conflicts since 1991, including both Gulf wars; none are still in captivity
Missing in Action (83,114):
- 73,515 from World War II
- 7,841 from the Korean War
- 1,626 from Vietnam
- 126 from the Cold War
- 6 from conflicts since 1991
About 75 percent of those missing Americans are somewhere in the Asia-Pacific. More than 41,000 have been presumed lost at sea. Efforts to find those men, identify them, and bring them home are constant.