Proclamation 5626 -- National Former POW Recognition Day, 1987

April 8, 1987

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

More than 80,000 Americans living today are former prisoners of war. Many of these courageous men and women were subjected for months and years to brutal and inhumane treatment by their captors, in violation of international codes and customs for the treatment of prisoners of war. Many prisoners died or were disabled; all suffered prolonged and extraordinary hardships. The members of their families also endured torment, the agony of prolonged separation or of having no word of their loved ones.

The great courage and sacrifices of American prisoners of war and their families will live in the memory of our countrymen forever. These patriots -- who served and suffered and prevailed for love of our country -- deserve every tribute from a Nation proud and solemnly grateful for their faith and their valor.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 47, has designated April 9, 1987, as ``National Former POW Recognition Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 9, 1987, National Former POW Recognition Day, and I urge all Americans to acknowledge the special debt we owe to our fellow citizens who underwent a great ordeal in the service of our country, and to their families. I also call upon government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 8th day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:10 a.m., April 9, 1987]