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WHEREAS, in 1979, Congress passed a resolution authorizing National Prisoner of War (POW)/ Missing in Action (MIA) Recognition Day to be observed throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, since 1986, the third Friday of September has been the national observance day; and
WHEREAS, 72,579 Americans are still unaccounted for from World War II, 7,578 from the Korean War, 1,586 from the Vietnam War, 126 from the Cold War, 1 from Operation El Dorado Canyon (Libya, 1986), and 5 from the Gulf War(s); and
WHEREAS, there are 1,343 Virginians who remain missing or are unaccounted for; and
WHEREAS, the families and friends of unaccounted-for veterans and other Americans still await recovery and identification of their remains or, if determined unrecoverable, certainty regarding their fates; and
WHEREAS, on this day, the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag is flown across the country as a symbol of the bravery and sacrifice of those who answered the call to serve in our Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, on this day, we pay tribute to our nation’s prisoners of war and those who are missing in action, and we stand behind our country’s steadfast commitment to account for them; and
WHEREAS, we remember the incredible sacrifice of prisoners of war and those missing in action to fight for our freedoms and uphold peace and security around the world; and
WHEREAS, on September 18, 2020, Virginians come together to express gratitude for these individuals who have faithfully served our country;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 18, 2020, as NATIONAL PRISONER OF WAR/MISSING IN ACTION RECOGNITION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.