THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 14,
NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY, 2000
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the onset of the Korean War
and the 25th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam. For many
Americans, these milestones bring difficult memories; for former prisoners
of war and the families of those still missing in action, these
anniversaries evoke particularly painful memories and emotions.
In both of these conflicts, hundreds of thousands of brave Americans
left their homes and families to defend freedom and democracy in the face
of communist aggression. Thousands lost their lives in battle, and the
fate of 10,000 Americans is still unknown -- they are missing in action.
We know that many Americans held captive were subjected to unspeakable
horrors, but throughout maintained their honor, strong faith in our Nation,
and indomitable spirit.
There are approximately 50,000 courageous former POWs living among us,
including those held captive during World War II. Many still cope with the
physical and emotional effects of their captivity. We owe a profound debt
of grati-tude to these quiet heroes who served our Nation so well and
sacri-ficed so much. And to the families of those still missing in action,
we pledge our unwavering commitment to achieve the fullest possible
accounting for their loved ones and to seek the recovery, repatriation, and
identification of the remains of those who have died.
On September 15, 2000, the flag of the National League of Families of
American Prisoners of War and Missing in Southeast Asia, a black and white
banner symbolizing America?s missing service members and our unshakable
resolve to ascertain their fate, will be flown over the White House, the
U.S. Capitol, the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the
Selective Service System Headquarters, the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, national cemeteries, and other
locations across our country -- a powerful reminder to the world that we
will keep faith with those who so faithfully served America.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 15, 2000, as
National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I call upon all Americans to join me in
remembering former American prisoners of war who suffered the hardships of
enemy captivity and those missing in action whose fate is still
undetermined. I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials
and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of
September, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fifth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON