Sacramento, California - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a proclamation declaring September 18, 2015, as POW/MIA Recognition Day in the State of California.
Of the men and women who served our country in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and later conflicts, there are currently over 83,000 whose fates and whereabouts remain unknown. Some of these are prisoners of war (POWs) who were taken captive by enemy forces and never returned to us. Others are "missing in action" (MIA), a term defined under the Missing Persons Act (10 U.S.C. § 1510) as applying to any member of the armed forces on active duty who "becomes involuntarily absent as a result of a hostile action" and "whose status is undetermined or who is unaccounted for." The observance of POW/MIA Recognition Day began in 1979 to raise awareness of the large number of Americans who were still missing after the end of hostilities in Southeast Asia.
Today, we honor our missing warriors for their service and sacrifice, and rededicate ourselves to the cause of finding them. While we applaud the ongoing efforts of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, which has closed 45 POW and MIA cases since the start of this year, the numbers of unaccounted-for personnel, including 1,626 from the Vietnam era, are still far too high. On this day, by displaying the POW/MIA flag at our homes, businesses and government buildings, we send to these men and women and their families a clear message embodied in the words on the flag: "You Are Not Forgotten."
NOW THEREFORE I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim September 18th 2015, as "POW/MIA Recognition Day."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 18th day of September 2015.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State