CalAmerica owes a great debt to those who have served our nation in war and peace. One solemn reminder of the sacrifices of Americans from all walks of life and all ages is POW/MIA Recognition Day.

This series of events honoring those who are listed as Missing in Action or a Prisoner of War is held on the third Friday of every September. As of July 29, 2019 1,587 soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen are still listed as  MIA. The families of those MIA’s still await an answer as to what happened and where these 1587 service members are.

California has 162 of its service members still listed as missing or unaccounted for. No state has more listed as missing or unaccounted for.  New York 104, Texas 99, and our 47 states and four territories round out the list and bring that total to 1587. Not all our unaccounted for of those still missing were in the military. Seven were civilians and their families are also waiting for answers as to the manner in which they were lost and what happened to their remains.

Considerable coverage has been given and even movies made about American service members still held as POW’s. According to numerous reports by our government and non-governmental organizations this remains in doubt. At one point it was believed that Iraq still held one POW. The soldier’s fate is still reported as unknown. The National League of POW/MIA Families has asked every state and our four United States territories to join with them and issue resolutions or proclamations to honor those who are unaccounted for. Many states have done so put as of this writing , it is reported, that the Great State of California has yet to take this important step. Let’s hope those reports are wrong.

I know our Governor Gavin Newsom has a special place in his heart and mind for all who served. I can report that goes for both sides of the aisle, for the most part, in our State Senate and State Assembly. So, why is it that the state with 162 heroes who are MIA/ POW/ unaccounted for hasn’t taken this small but important step?

Many counties and cities have already remembered our POW/MIA’s with special ceremonies, proclamations, and service. Riverside County has taken official action to honor POW’s and MIA’s. It is time for our state to join so many other states to honor the sacrifices of those who served and are listed as MIA’s or POW’s.  While the state considerers this overdue honor the 57 other counties in our state and our 482 cities may want to afford this honor, if they haven’t done so already, for those military members who are still unaccounted for. Apologies in advance if other counties and cities have taken this action already and thank you for doing so.

The United States of America is the only country that never gives up in its efforts to bring those left behind home. The process is slow and requires the cooperation of what were and are still hostile nations.  When this President of the United States meets with leaders of Russia perhaps he could ask for the return of our MIA/POW’s. Considerable evidence suggests, have not been returned, at least that is what is contained in reports to the Congress of the Unites States.

Please pause and remember those who are missing in action or unaccounted for. We owe those who served and will serve us in the future to bring every soldier, marine, sailor, or airman home to their families and give them the full honors their service has earned. Look for a local POW/MIA Remembrance ceremony in your community and pause with us on Friday, September 20, 2019.

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Image Sources

  • POW/MIA: Shutterstock