Who won’t be forgotten?
They’re the soldiers who never returned from war, their whereabouts unknown or their remains never recovered. But, as the familiar black flag reminds Americans, “You are not forgotten.”
The Prisoners of War/Missing in Action flag is a familiar sight to many Americans, but its significance some feel is increasingly lost as the years pass by.
But as the years go by since POW/MIA advocates successfully fought to bring the black flags into prominence, some Americans have forgotten their significance over the years.
Many young people may have no idea what the flags represent.
The flags, and POW/MIA ceremonies, serve as a reminder of the nation’s obligation to reunite the prisoners or their remains with their families.
In fact, the U.S. government still devotes a great deal of time and resources in such recovery efforts.
Through September, the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command — known as JPAC — is scheduled to deploy more than 85 investigation and recovery teams on 30 missions to 11 different countries; 60 of them to support Vietnam War POW/MIA operations.
But as the years pass by and the memories fade, so too, has the will of some to fund and support such recovery actions.
To this day, 1,677 Vietnam War POW/MIAs from across America remain unaccounted for. There were 2,500 when recovery efforts started.
POW/MIA Day is recognized on the third Friday of September by resolution of Congress.