June 1, 1982
By the President of the United States of America
Since the Revolutionary War, when General George Washington complained of the treatment accorded to captured soldiers of the Continental Army, the United States has recognized the uncommon hardships experienced by our soldiers held prisoner during times of war. Called upon to defend American ideals while undergoing extreme adversity in violation of fundamental moral standards and the international codes and customs for the treatment of prisoners of war, our soldiers have fulfilled their duty to their services and country.
Similarly, our country has recognized the acute suffering experienced by the families of our soldiers held captive or missing in action. The uncertainty these service families live with day-to-day surely touches the heart of every American.
The Congress has by Joint Resolution designated July 9, 1982 as National P.O.W.-M.I.A. Recognition Day and on this day we should recognize the special debt owed to our fellow citizens who gave up their freedom and their families in the service of our country. We must also remember our still-missing servicemen, for whose families, relatives and friends the anguish and bitterness of war are enduring aspects.
Our Nation must not forget and will continue to seek answers to their fates.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate July 9, 1982 as National P.O.W.-M.I.A. Recognition Day, a day dedicated to all former American prisoners of war, to those still missing, and to their families. I call on all Americans to join in honoring those who made the uncommon sacrifice of being held captive in war, and their loved ones.
I call upon State and local officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 1st day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:08 p.m., June 1, 1982]