National Prisoner of War (POW)/Missing In Action (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 third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
A national-level ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Traditionally held at the Pentagon, it features members from each branch of military service and participation from high-ranking officials.
In addition to the national-level ceremony, observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans’ facilities. Local POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies share a common purpose: Honoring those who were held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing.
Sun Prairie is scheduled to observe POW/MIA on Friday, Sept. 18, beginning with a vigil at 5:30 p.m. at Veterans of Foreign War Post 9362, located at 349 S. Walker Way.
That will be followed by a brief ceremony at 6 p.m. that includes a POW/MIA table, which is set for those who cannot be there. In Wisconsin, that number is 1,513, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) whose mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for U.S. missing personnel to their families and the nation.
Even if you can’t be at the VFW 9362 on Friday, Sept. 18, remember Wisconsin’s prisoners of war and missing in action. You can also remember POWs and those MIA by making a non-cash monetary gift. Before making the gift (check or money order), email email@example.com and briefly describe the gift, its value, any cost that DPAA may incur if the gift was accepted, and any conditions on use of the gift.
Or you can say a prayer -- so they know that they are not forgotten.