Presidential proclamation and Department of Defense tradition has set aside the third Friday in September as a formal day of commemoration as Prisoner of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) Recognition Day. A ceremony is held at the Pentagon that features troops from each of the military services. The President of the United States is expected to issue a proclamation commemorating the observances and reminding the nation of those Americans who have sacrificed so much for their country.
Observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools, veterans' facilities, and government facilities. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families' POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. The flag is to be flown at major military installations, national cemeteries, all post offices, Veterans Administration medical facilities, the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the official offices of the secretaries of state, defense and veterans affairs, the director of the selective service system and the White House.
The focus on POW/MIA Recognition Day is to ensure that America remembers the POW/MIAs and that citizens hold their leaders accountable for doing everything possible to account for the POW/MIAs and achieve their return to our country where possible.