Proclamation 5788 -- National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day, 1988
the President of the
It is truly fitting that America observe April 9 in recognition of our former prisoners of war; that date is the 46th anniversary of the day in 1942 when U.S. forces holding out on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines were captured. Later, as prisoners of war, these gallant Americans were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March and to other inhumane treatment that killed thousands of them before they could be liberated. In every conflict, brutality has invariably been meted out to American prisoners of war; on April 9 and every day, we must remember with solemn pride and gratitude that valor and tenacity have ever been our prisoners' response.
is clear from the words of then-Captain Jeremiah
The term ``difficult circumstances'' referred to nothing less than physical and mental torture, starvation, disease, separation from loved ones, and deprivation of medical treatment -- an ordeal that for some, in every conflict, did not end until death. To their brave families we offer solace and salute. To our former prisoners of war who endured so much, we say that with your example and with God's help we will seek to meet the standards of devotion you have set; we will never forget your service or your sacrifice.
Congress, by Public Law 100 - 269, has designated
Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the
Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the
year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the
[Filed with the Office
of the Federal Register, ,
Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 5.