Proclamation 5356 -- National P.O.W./M.I.A. Recognition Day, 1985

June 27, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Since the Revolutionary War, America's men and women have made unselfish sacrifices to defend freedom. In each of America's wars, America's prisoners of war have faced extraordinary hardships and overcome them through extraordinary sacrifices. The bravery, suffering, and profound devotion to duty of our P.O.W.s and M.I.A.s have earned them a preeminent place in the hearts of all Americans. Their heroism is a beacon to follow forever. Their spirit of hope and commitment to the defense of freedom reflects the basic tenets of our Nation.

This country deeply appreciates the pain and suffering endured by families whose fathers, sons, husbands, or brothers are today still missing or unaccounted for. These families are an example of the strength and patriotism of all Americans. We as a people are united in supporting efforts to return the captive, recover the missing, resolve the accounting, and relieve the suffering of the families who wait. We accept our continuing obligation to these missing servicemen. Until the P.O.W./M.I.A. issue is resolved, it will continue to be a matter of the highest national priority. As a symbol of this national commitment, the P.O.W./M.I.A. Flag will fly over the White House, the Departments of State and Defense, the Veterans' Administration, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on July 19, 1985, and over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

By Senate Joint Resolution 87, the Congress has designated July 19, 1985, as ``National P.O.W./M.I.A. Recognition Day.'' On this day, we recognize the special debt all Americans owe to our fellow citizens who gave up their freedom in the service of our country; we owe no less to their families.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, July 19, 1985, as National P.O.W./M.I.A. Recognition Day. I call on all Americans to join in honoring all former American prisoners of war, those still missing, and their families who have endured and still suffer extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of this country. I also call upon State and local officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 27th day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:40 a.m., June 28, 1985]