Friday, September 19, 2008

National POW / MIA Recognition Day

From Atty. General Bob McDonnell....

You may have noticed a unique flag flying above your local post office today. That flag is the official POW/MIA flag created to honor the brave Americans who have given their all in defense of our nation and our freedoms. It is flying proudly over a number of federal buildings because on the third Friday of every September our nation pauses to remember the sacrifices of these brave men and women with National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

88,000 American service members are still officially listed as missing since the beginning of World War II. During that same period over 138,000 Americans have been taken as prisoners of war. Sadly, we may never know the fate of many of these heroes still listed as missing. Thankfully, many of these former prisoners of war have returned to our shores to live in the freedom and peace that their heroic service secured.

All Americans are rightly familiar with the courageous story of Senator John McCain. Here in Virginia we also have heroes in our midst. One individual is Paul Galanti, who was held by the North Vietnamese for nearly seven years, enduring the kind of hardships and pain that most of us cannot even imagine. Paul's example rightly reminds us that we live free because others stood strong. We can never forget this.

Today, as you go about the daily activities of work and home, I hope you will pause for a moment. Stop to remember that throughout this country there are heroes. Americans who in the forests of Northern Europe, the hills of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, and the sands of the Middle East sacrificed for this nation. Some were tortured, beaten and isolated for years. Others were never seen again. All deserve a debt of gratitude that our nation can never truly repay.

We must never forget our heroes.

Cross-posted at

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