On the third Friday of each September, we recognize those who have served our great nation but have not returned home. We take this time to honor those who have been classified as a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action. September 18, 2015 all military installations fly the POW/MIA flag right beneath the American flag. During the day and throughout the weekend, events and remembrance ceremonies are held. Veterans groups are particularly active in maintaining these events and bringing awareness of those who have not made it home. While it is not a Federal holiday, it is a Nationally recognized day. POW/MIA day was founded in July of 1979 to keep alive the memory of these men and women.
In April 2009, the Department of Defense issued a list of 1,741 American Personnel considered MIA since the end of the Vietnam War. Those on the list will remain there until they are found, or their remains discovered and returned to their families. The search will continue until all are found or accounted for.
The POW/MIA flag was designed by Newt Heisley after his son was medically discharged from the Navy. His son’s features made him think of those who were still being held prisoner in foreign lands. He then added the barbed wire design. It is the most widely recognized symbol for the POWs and MIAs today.