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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Virginia Vietnam Prisoner of War Recognition Day

WHEREAS, in 1973, 687 American Prisoners of War (POWs) returned home with honor after enduring months and even years of captivity in Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, American POWs endured terrible treatment, abuse, and torture in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention at such infamous locations as the Hanoi Hilton, Alcatraz, the Briar Patch, and Son Tay (Camp Hope) in North Vietnam, and in jungle camps in South Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, motivated by their faith and their country, and drawing on immense reservoirs of inner strength and courage, they rallied to each other, forming the 4th Allied POW Wing later in the war to maintain the military structure and chain of command; and

WHEREAS, wherever possible, the POWs utilized the tap code and other means of communications to maintain morale and to support each other, ending many conversations by tapping “GNGBU” (Good Night, God Bless You); and

WHEREAS, the plight of the Vietnam POWs was a unifying force in America during a divided point in our history, sparking the formation of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia and prompting hundreds of thousands of Americans to wear POW bracelets with the name and capture date of American service members held in Vietnam; and

WHEREAS, the release of the POWs in 1973 prompted celebrations across the Nation in tribute to these American heroes, including special receptions at the Virginia Executive Mansion and the White House; and

WHEREAS, 2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of the POWs’ joyful homecoming, and though their numbers have diminished, our former POWs continue to inspire all Virginians with their example of courage, faith, and patriotism;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 29, 2023, as VIRGINIA VIETNAM PRISONER OF WAR RECOGNITION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.