National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and sponsor of the National POW/MIA Flag Act, released the following statement marking National POW/MIA Recognition Day:
"Today, we honor the lives and legacies of the over 82,000 United States service members who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for," said Congressman Pappas. "These soldiers, sailors, and airmen served their country with distinction and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude. One way we can honor their service and sacrifice is to proudly display the POW/MIA flag as a symbol of our enduring respect."
"I was proud to introduce and work to pass bipartisan legislation which honors those service members who were prisoners of war and individuals who remain unaccounted for. This legislation reaffirms our country's commitment to them and ensures that the words emblazoned on the POW/MIA flag continue to communicate a clear message of our unwavering support and commitment to our nation's heroes and their families. That message is this: you are not forgotten."
"Recently, it was reported that President Trump has stopped flying the POW/MIA flag on top of the White House. I have joined with veteran and POW/MIA organizations in calling for the White House and all federal properties to follow the letter and spirit of the law and ensure that the POW/MIA flag is visible to all."
Under prior law, the POW/MIA Flag was required to be displayed by the federal government on certain prominent federal properties only six days per year: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, National POW/MIA Recognition Day, and Veterans Day.
The National POW/MIA Flag Act ensures that the POW/MIA Flag is displayed whenever the U.S. flag is displayed, effectively ensuring that both flags are displayed concurrently every day at federal locations already designated under existing law.
The bill was endorsed by Rolling Thunder, Inc. National; the National League of POW/MIA Families; Veterans of Foreign Wars; The American Legion; National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen; American Ex-Prisoners of War; and AMVETS.
On March 7, 2019, Rep Pappas introduced the House version of the National POW/MIA Flag Act with Representative Jack Bergman (MI-01). The bipartisan, bicameral bill requires the POW/MIA Flag to be displayed whenever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties.
On October 22, 2019, the House passed the National POW/MIA Flag Act.
On November 6, 2019, President Trump signed the National POW/MIA Flag Act into law.