It always falls on the third Friday of September, POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of remembrance and hope for the safe return of American Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action. It’s also a day when we appeal for the return of the remains of soldiers killed in foreign countries.

The first POW/MIA Recognition Day was in 1979 following a resolution by Congress. It was held on various dates until 1986 when the third Friday in September was proposed as the annual date. If you notice today you’ll find the POW/MIA flag being flown at U-S Post Offices, Veteran Administration and most U-S government buildings as well as military memorials. Each year, the president also issues a proclamation.

(Edward Headington@Flickr)

According to the Department of Defense, there are still more than 73,000 U-S soldiers still unaccounted for from World War Two alone, 7,900 from the Korean War and 1,645 from the Vietnam War. That’s a lot of spouses, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters left without closure. So sad.

So on this day take a moment to say a prayer and remember our missing soldiers and hope they can one day be brought home.