National Former P.O.W. Day

“Commemorating Former P.O.W. Day with LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

National Former P.O.W. Day is commemorated each year on April 9.

To Remember Their Sacrifices

Every year, on April 9th, the United States observes National Former Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) Recognition Day to honor the bravery, sacrifice, and resilience of American prisoners of war throughout history.

Observation of this day serves as a poignant reminder of the hardships endured by those who have been held captive while serving in our armed forces and underscores the nation's commitment to never forget their sacrifices.

One in April & One in September, But Why?

In 1979, Congress passed a resolution designating April 9th as the first National Former P.O.W. Recognition Day. This date was originally chosen because it marked the anniversary of the release of the longest-held American prisoner of war from the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Stirm.

In 1986, legislation moved the observance to what we now know of as National P.O.W. Day on the third Friday in September, creating a consistent and annual recognition all of our P.O.W.s.

With its unique title, however, National Former P.O.W. Day remains on April 9th, and is meant to acknowledge the P.O.W.s we have been fortunate enough to return home to us.

The Advantages to Two Dates

The observance of National Former P.O.W. Recognition Day is a chance for us all to focus on those personnel who are here with us; and to acknowledge and address any needs they may have when they return home.

P.O.W.s face unimaginable challenges, including physical and psychological torture, deprivation, and isolation. Awareness about the issues affecting them and their families helps to improve public understanding and the helpful care they might receive.

As we acknowledge our former prisoners of war on National Former P.O.W. Recognition Day, the country reaffirms its commitment to honoring the sacrifices of those who have endured captivity in service to their country. It is a day to remember the courage, resilience, and sacrifices of our service members and their families, and to express gratitude for their selfless devotion. In honoring the legacy of our former P.O.W.s, we help ensure that the sacrifices of all P.O.W.s are never forgotten.

“Commemorating Former P.O.W. Day with LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

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