On the third Friday of September, we pause to remember the sacrifices of the 83,193 Americans who are still missing or unaccounted for. We remember their families whose pain and suffering does not subside with the passage of time.

POW/MIA Recognition Day serves to remind us that the true cost of war extends far beyond the last shots being fired. WWII claimed more than 130,000 American Prisoners of war, presently the count is 73,539 still Missing in Action.

During the Korean War, more than 7,100 were taken captive and 7,881 were declared Missing in Action. Vietnam brought nearly 8700 American POWs and 1,641 are still missing.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is not a federal public holiday, but is a national observance day.

The United-States Congress passed, a resolution authorizing National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be observed on July 18, 1979. It has been observed on several different dates until 1986 when it was changed to the third Friday in September.

The United States President each year proclaims National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The National League of Families POW/MIA flag symbolizes the United States’ resolve to never forget POWs or those who served their country in conflicts and are still missing.

Newt Heisley designed the flag. The flag’s design features a silhouette of a young man, which is based on Mr. Heisley’s son who was medically discharged from the military.

As Mr. Heisley looked at his returning son’s gaunt features, he imagined what life was like for those behind barbed wire fences on foreign shores. He then sketched the profile of his son as the new flag’s design was created in his mind.

The flag features a white disc bearing in black silhouette a man’s bust, a watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire. White letters POW and MIA, with a white five pointed star in between, are typed above the disc.

Below the disc is a black and white wreath above the motto┬Ł “You Are Not Forgotten” written in white, capital letters.

The flag can also be displayed on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.

The flag can be displayed at the Capitol, the White House, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, national cemeteries, various government buildings, and major military installations.