At Paradiso Insurance, we are strong supporters of our military and veterans, and recognize the sacrifices that our troops and their families make on a daily basis. That is why we choose to wear red every Friday to publicly show our support of these honorable men and women.
During their service, some military members find themselves in the unfortunate circumstances of being prisoners of war, or even declared as missing in action, and are unable to come home to their families at the end of their service. This is the reason why the third Friday of every September we celebrate POW/MIA Recognition Day, in honor and remembrance of those who have been prisoners of war or were declared missing in action.
How POW/MIA Recognition Day Came About
The first POW/MIA Recognition Day was celebrated in 1979, when families of Vietnam War veterans came together and rallied for a day to honor these POW and MIA veterans. The first ceremony was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and is a reminder of the great sacrifices our service personnel make during combat.
POW/MIA Recognition Day has also been the driving force behind recovery efforts of MIA service members, and steps to find these missing service members still continues today.
The Importance of the POW/MIA Flag
Just like the American flag, the POW/MIA flag should be properly displayed, especially on POW/MIA Recognition Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day. Many people choose to fly this flag directly underneath the American flag. For information on the protocol for flying the POW/MIA flag, click here. This flag serves as a reminder to all to never forget the prisoners of war and missing-in-action soldiers in our current and past wars.
The POW/MIA flag came to fruition when Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of POW/MIA Families, recognized the need for a symbol of support and honor them . Mrs. Hoff wanted a way to publicly honor her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hoff, who was declared missing in action after his plane was shot down in the Vietnam War. Newt Heisley, a WWII pilot, was the designer of the POW/MIA flag, and chose a design that would portray the sadness, anxiety, stress, and hope many POW and MIA soldiers felt during battle. Heisley’s own son, having fallen ill during Marine Corps training at Quantico, VA, was the inspiration behind the gaunt silhouette depicted on the flag.
On August 10th, 1990, the 101st Congress passed US Public Law 101-355, which officially recognized and designated the POW/MIA flag as “the symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.” This flag is also commonly displayed on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.
Other than the American flag, the POW/MIA flag is the ONLY flag ever to fly over the White House, and has been displayed every year since the declaration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day in 1982. It also continuously flies over the Capitol Rotunda, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, each National Cemetery, each major military installation, each U.S. post office, and buildings containing the offices of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Director of the Selective Service System.
On POW/MIA Recognition Day, we invite you to help us honor and remember all POW and MIA personnel, and honor the sacrifices they have made for our freedom.