Got an idea for a new holiday? Let us know!
Submit Holiday

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

Honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country this National POW/MIA Recognition Day - never forget their bravery!
Location Icon
United States
Email Icon

It's time to honor and recognize the brave service members who were captured or remain missing in action on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is celebrated on the third Friday of September each year. This important day of remembrance first began in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter declared it an official day of recognition for those individuals who have sacrificed so much for our country. On this special day, we take the time to salute all those men and women who have served our nation with honor and courage.

History of National POW/MIA Recognition Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1979</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>POW/MIA Recognition Day Established</div><div class='timeline-text'>President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a national day of remembrance for POWs and MIAs, establishing the third Friday of September as the official day.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1980</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Official Observance</div><div class='timeline-text'>In 1980, the first official National POW/MIA Recognition Day observance was held, with activities centered at the Pentagon and other military installations.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1982</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>POW/MIA Flag Created</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National League of Families POW/MIA Flag, symbolizing the nation's remembrance and continued concern for those missing or captured, was officially recognized by Congress.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1995</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Observance Enlarged</div><div class='timeline-text'>The observance was expanded to involve commemorative ceremonies and activities throughout the country, including U.S. military installations all over the world.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2014</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Expanded Search Efforts</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) was established to consolidate all POW and MIA search efforts, reemphasizing the country's commitment to accounting for all missing servicemen and women.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2015</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>POW/MIA Flag Display Rule</div><div class='timeline-text'>Congress ordered the POW/MIA flag to be displayed on all federal properties on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, ensuring the nation remembers this day and the sacrifices made.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate National POW/MIA Recognition Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a memorial service</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Check with your local government to see if there are any memorial services in your area to honor those who have been held as prisoners of war and/or remain missing in action.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Fly the POW/MIA Flag</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Flying the POW/MIA flag is a great way to recognize and show support for those who serve or have served in the military. You can purchase a POW/MIA flag online or at your local military surplus store.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a fundraising event</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Organizing a fundraising event is an excellent way to show your support for current soldiers and those who have served in the past. Use the funds you raise to help veterans and their families.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write letters to veterans</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Write letters of gratitude to veterans thanking them for their service and sacrifice. You can also write letters to families of POWs/MIAs expressing your sympathies and appreciation.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Volunteer at a veteran's organization</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Volunteer at a veteran's organization, such as the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to help recognize and honor those who have served. You could help organize events, collect donations, or assist with office work.</p></div></div>

Why National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It honors the sacrifice of veterans</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>National POW/MIA Recognition Day is an important day to recognize and honor the brave men and women who served our country with courage and dignity, many of whom never made it home. It is a somber reminder of the sacrifices these individuals made for our freedom.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises awareness</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>National POW/MIA Recognition Day serves as an opportunity to raise public awareness of the still unresolved issues regarding those service members listed as missing in action or prisoners of war. It reminds us that we can never stop fighting for answers and justice for those who gave everything in service to our nation.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It shows respect & gratitude</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Not only does National POW/MIA recognition Day allow us to honor the past, but it also gives us an opportunity to show appreciation for those currently serving or have served in the armed forces. We reflect upon the great debt we owe them for protecting our rights and freedoms, and demonstrate how much we value their sacrifice.</p></div></div>

5 Unveiled Facts about POW/MIA Recognition Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day FAQs

When is National POW/MIA Recognition Day?

National POW/MIA Recognition Day Dates



Sep 15



Sep 20



Sep 19



Sep 18



Sep 17


Special Interest Holidays