United States honors missing service members on POW/MIA Recognition Day Friday

September 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will lead the nation in honoring the sacrifices and unwavering dedication of the more than 81,000 service members who remain missing and unaccounted for. In a proclamation, President Biden paid tribute to these heroes and their families, vowing never to forget their sacrifices.

Biden emphasized the unbreakable commitment and courage displayed by American service members who have given everything to protect the nation and its democracy. He acknowledged the thousands of spouses, parents, sons, daughters, and loved ones who continue to carry the burden of unanswered questions and the debt of gratitude that can never be fully repaid.

The President highlighted a recent example of the nation’s commitment to bringing them home. Earlier this year, the remains of United States Army Corporal Luther H. Story, a Medal of Honor recipient who had been missing for over seven decades, were finally identified. Corporal Story’s remains were returned to his family, and he was laid to rest with the highest honors near his hometown in Georgia. This touching story serves as a reminder of the nation’s duty to keep faith with its unreturned heroes.

President Biden urged the country to recommit to the search efforts for all missing and unaccounted-for service members and to provide unwavering support to their families. He also emphasized the need to honor the bravery and sacrifice of former prisoners of war who endured unimaginable conditions.

On this day, the President called on all citizens to reflect on the sacrifices of those who never returned home from battlefields around the world and the families who still await answers. He encouraged Federal, State, and local government officials, as well as private organizations, to observe National POW/MIA Recognition Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Throughout the day, the POW/MIA flag will fly above the White House, the United States Capitol, military bases, memorials, cemeteries, and homes across the country. This solemn gesture served as a symbol of the nation’s commitment to remembering and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

As the nation observed this day, President Biden’s proclamation reaffirmed that America remains forever grateful to its heroes, and the flame of liberty continues to burn bright in their memory.

In the spirit of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, the nation came together to remember, reflect, and renew its commitment to never forget those who served and sacrificed for the United States of America.


NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITIION DAY, 2023

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
     Unbreaking and unbending in their devotion to duty, our service members have sacrificed everything to keep our people and our democracy safe.  While more than 81,000 of these brave service members still remain missing and unaccounted for, they are not — and will never be — forgotten.  On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we honor the devotion and courage of all those missing and unaccounted for, renew our commitments to their families, and promise to never cease in our efforts to bring them home.

     Above the White House and the United States Capitol — and at military bases, memorials, cemeteries, and homes across America — we fly the POW/MIA flag, and we remember what it represents:  the thousands of spouses, parents, sons, daughters, and loved ones who served and sacrificed for our freedom and future; loved ones who mourn with unanswered questions still in their hearts; and the debt of gratitude we owe them that we can never fully repay.  We cannot and must not forget our obligation to our unreturned heroes — no matter how long it takes.

     Earlier this year, I had the honor of announcing that after over seven decades of being unaccounted for, United States Army Corporal Luther H. Story — a Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life fighting in the Korean War — was no longer missing.  His remains were identified, returned to his family, and laid to rest near his Georgia hometown with the highest honor he deserves.  His story is just one powerful reminder that, just as our service members have kept ultimate faith to our country, we must do everything we can to keep faith for them. 

      On this day, may we recommit to our search efforts for all those missing and unaccounted for, as well as our support for their families.  May we honor the remarkable bravery, sacrifice, and commitment to service of former prisoners of war.  And may we continue to keep the flame of liberty burning bright and continue working toward a more perfect Union for which our service members sacrifice so much.

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 15, 2023, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Let all who read this know that America remains grateful to our heroes held in the worst imaginable conditions as prisoners of war.  Additionally, I encourage my fellow citizens across the Nation to reflect on today and let us not forget those heroes who never returned home from the battlefields around the world or their families who are still waiting for answers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
fourteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

                                 JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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