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In 1971, Mrs. Michael Hoff, the wife of a U.S. military officer listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War, developed the idea for a national flag to remind every American of the U.S. service members whose fates were never accounted for during the war.
By the end of the Vietnam War, more than 2,500 service members were listed by the Department of Defense as prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA).
In 1982, the POW/MIA flag became the only flag other than the Stars and Stripes to fly over the White House in Washington, D.C.
On Aug. 10, 1990, Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355 designating the POW/MIA flag: “The symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.” The third Friday in September has been designated at POW/MIA Recognition Day.
DNA from the families of the missing is needed to identify remains recovered. There are still around 39 unaccounted for from the Vietnam War and around 114 still unaccounted for from the Korean War from our home state of Missouri.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll Understand.”
The Ladies Auxiliary of Ava VFW Post 5993 urges all of Ava to get involved.
The public is invited to join Ava VFW and Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 5993, and Douglas County American Legion Post 112, including several highly decorated veterans, in a POW/MIA Silent Walk on Sept. 18. Meeting at the gazebo on the Ava square, there will be a balloon launch at 12 noon, followed by the walk proceeding past the high school to the Ava Cemetery POW/MIA memorial wall for a short wreath laying ceremony.