National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

(Also known as National Former POW Recognition Day)

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day is observed next on Sunday, April 9th, 2023 (123 days from today).

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To honor courageous who have endured brutal treatment at the hands of their captors include men and women, National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day on April 9. As a result, they also suffered separation from their families and displayed incredible endurance and faith during their confinement.

On this day in 1942, the largest number of US Forces are captured by Japanese troops on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. After fighting in harsh conditions and protracted battles, the soldiers were forced to march 65 miles to the prison camp. Without medical care, thousands of people died. The abuse continued for the survivors of the brutal journey. In the lands, deep in the unfamiliar jungle, hardships, cruelty and suffering lasted more than two years for those who could survive.

Since the Revolutionary War, more than half a million servicemen have been captured. This number does not reflect those who were lost or never recovered. However, each POW is subject to conditions similar to those described above. These heroes deserve recognition and deserve a day to recognize their contributions.

The origin of National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

In 1984, a movement led by former prisoners of war began to seek a day to recognize former prisoners of war on April 9 each year. In 1988, the National Assembly passed a law to designate April 9 to commemorate the day of the number of people taken prisoner in Bataan. Adopting Presidential Proclamation 5788, National Recognition of Former Prisoners of War Day on April 1, 1988 was proclaimed by president Ronald Reagan. He fixed compliance on April 9, 1988. Since Thereby, through legislation and the Presidential Proclamation, compliance continues.

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day observing

With ceremonies and events, Government officials, veterans, civic and private organizations view the day. Some states require government organizations and facilities to fly the POW/MIA flag on this day.

Honoring former prisoners of war by helping organize events. Make sure your organization flies the POW/MIA flag. Volunteer to help a veteran organization. Learn more by visiting American Legion. Use #FormerPOWRecognitionDay to share on social media.


National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day has been observed annually on April 9th.


Friday, April 9th, 2021

Saturday, April 9th, 2022

Sunday, April 9th, 2023

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

Wednesday, April 9th, 2025

Also on Sunday, April 9th, 2023

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