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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday

  • POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of remembrance and hope for the speedy and safe return of Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action. It also seeks the return of the remains of fallen soldiers.
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  • POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of remembrance and hope for the speedy and safe return of Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action. It also seeks the return of the remains of fallen soldiers.
    “It’s very important, not only that we honor the veterans who are with us, but also those who are not with us are just as important,” said Pam Behrens, Monte­video VFW Auxiliary president.
    POW/MIA Recognition Day is Sept. 20, always falling on the third Friday of September. The first official commemoration of POW/MIAs was July 18, 1979, after an official resolution from the Congress of the United States.
    Following 1979, the day shifted around, until 1986 when the National League of Families proposed a fixed day: the third Friday in September.
    The day is not associated with any specific war, making it an ideal candidate.
    POW/MIA Recognition Day is one of six days Federal law requires the POW/MIA flag be flown. The others are Armed Forces Day, May 16; Memorial Day, May 25; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; and Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
    The flag will be flown at all United States Post Offices, Veterans Administrations, military memorial facilities and many government offices.
    “Please take a few moments to remember our missing soldiers, and those held as prisoners of war. Say a prayer for POWs and MIAs,” said Behrens.
    Tim Kolhei, Chippewa County Veteran Service Officer, explained why continuing to honor and recognize those who are Missing in Action, or who were Prisoners of War.
    “When you go off to war, soldiers make their buddy promises that you’re going to make it home. Even in military creeds, there is a lot of talk about leaving no man behind. It’s a big deal, going in,” Kolhei said. “Soldiers deserve to know that if they get surrounded and cut off, or taken prisoner, they’re going to make it home.”
    He said that the United States attempts to offer programs to help those who were MIA or POW.
    “We recognize that even being a prisoner for a day, there are conditions that are more possible. Any chance of being malnourished could lead to arthritis or possibly other conditions, and there are programs in place to help veterans with that ... they even consider different herbicides that were in Vietnam.”
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