Celebrated on the third Friday of September, POW/MIA Recognition Day ensures that America remembers to account for those who never returned from war. While Vietnam veterans were instrumental in making the day an annual observance, World War II had the most POWs (130,201) and MIAs (73,515). The POW/MIA flag flies with the Stars and Stripes at the White House on POW/MIA Recognition Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, and is the only other flag allowed to do so.
In the nation’s capital, events will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this week. Ticketed events will include an evening reception honoring the designer of the Wall, Maya Lin; a breakfast discussion with Lynn Novick, who directed the PBS miniseries The Vietnam War with Ken Burns; and a keynote speech from former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The Wall will also host its annual Veterans Day service and reading of the names. Check the Vietnam Veterans of America’s VetsConnect site for more information on these and other Veterans Day events.
Presidents’ Day means more than mattress sales. The holiday is also a great day to celebrate those who have served to protect this great nation, like founding father George Washington did. Many veterans provide 21-gun salutes at ceremonies and parades, and non-naturalized soldiers often pick Presidents’ Day to take their oath of citizenship. Support your local veterans in person this Monday, or make a donation at VVA.org.