Thursday, September 14, 2017

National POW MIA Recognition Day to be Observed Friday

Friday is National POW MIA Recognition DayBy:  Jimmie Lu Smallwood

It's more then a rock in the front yard to me. I was probably about 9 or 10 when I learned that the rock in our front yard was more then just a rock but a symbol. My step father was a true symbol of pride in America although he secretly felt he left his country down. He was just 17 when he joined the army to go and serve his country in a war on another shore, Korea. As I quickly learned his story I also learned what PTSD was and that there were many more men, and even women, like him. It wasn't long past his 18th birthday when he was wounded and taken prisoner by the North Korean army. He lived in a POW camp near the border of China for more then 18 months. It wasn't until I was 22, married, and a mom that I would fully understand what he endured. What is POW/MIA day and why do we honor those we vow never to forget?

The United States' National POW MIA Recognition day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year. Many Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.
According to the department of defense there are nearly 80,000 service men and women still unaccounted for, from WWII to present day. On this day as we pause to observe a day set aside to these men and women who gave so much for the freedoms we enjoy today I say, you are not forgotten.