The National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day is celebrated every 9th of April each year. It aims to honor all the brave men and women who have endured brutal treatment at the hands of their captors. They have suffered separation from family and displayed incredible endurance and faith during their captivity. They have become unsung heroes for their country and it is just appropriate to recognize them during this day.
About the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day
During the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day, people conduct various activities that let them achieve the objectives or purposes of this celebration. For one, people remember all those people who have lost their lives during the death march. They also shout out on social media how they are participating in the celebration of this day.
The National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day was introduced to honor American veterans of any wars that returned home after being released from prisons. The date of April 9 was chosen to commemorate the same day in 1942, when United States forces were surrendered by the Imperial Japanese Army on the Bataan Peninsula, beginning the Bataan Death March. All survivors were loaded to a box train and brought to Camp O’Donnell. The march resulting in prisoners being physically abused. Most of them died due to the injuries they sustained as well as from dehydration and hunger.
The actions of the Japanese Army were later judged to be a Japanese war crime. The National Former Prisoner of Way Recognition Day had been observed from 1942 to 1976 on a national level, Memorial marches took place at New Mexico and Minnesota, memorial service was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Later on, due to former President Barack Obama’s initiatives, this day became a holiday on a federal level.
The initial day of recognition was created by joint resolution during the 100th Congress, and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on April 8, 1987. A later joint resolution designated April 9, 1988 and April 9, 1989 as days of recognition, which President Reagan signed into law on March 28, 1988. The law requires that the sitting president issue an annual proclamation regarding observance of the day.
As mentioned earlier, the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day is celebrated every 9th of April each year. This means that the upcoming National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day will be held on Thursday, April 9.
The following are the main reasons why you should participate in the celebration of the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day:
To Remember and Honor the Unsung Heroes
Though they did not do anything substantially during the times before they died, all the people who marched to their death can be considered as unsung heroes. They somehow became the baits who caught the sufferings and tortures in place of their countrymen as inflicted by the Japanese army. They do deserve to be remembered during this day.
To Get to Know History A Little Better
You should also celebrate this day for you to gain more insight or knowledge about what happened in the past. Reading more about the death march can enlighten you on some aspects of history.
Celebration Ideas and Activities
The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day as best as it can be:
Participate in Ceremonies
During this day, government officials, veterans, civic and private organizations observe the day with ceremonies and events. Some states require organizations and government facilities to fly the POW/MIA flag on this day. you may want to participate in these activities to show your support to all of your countrymen who died as prisoners of war. They are considered as unsung heroes.
Volunteer to Help a Veteran Organization
Another way for you to celebrate this day is by volunteering to help a veteran organization that aims to honor all war veterans. These people have dedicated their lives protecting the country so they do deserve gratitude from you.
Celebrate on Social Media
You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. You can, for instance, use the hashtag #NationalFormerPrisonerOfWarRecognitionDay