Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day April 9, 2020 WHEREAS, the men and women of America’s armed forces remain steadfast, determined, and engaged as they face the enemies of liberty and freedom; and WHEREAS, throughout our nation’s history, our courageous service members have faithfully stepped forward to defend America. Many have borne the burden as prisoners of war for our freedoms. Some have paid the ultimate price – unwavering in their courage, undaunted in their selflessness, unfaltering in their heroism; and WHEREAS, Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day has been established by the Alaska State Legislature on April 9th of each year to recognize and honor all former Prisoners of War (POWs) from our nation’s wars who have returned home; and WHEREAS, POWs demonstrated their dedication to duty, honor, and country, despite enduring captivity and sometimes brutal treatment by their captors; defending the freedom of others at the expense of their own; and WHEREAS, American service members serve and fight selflessly each day to secure the freedoms we often take for granted. They courageously support and defend the American people against all enemies, foreign and domestic, all the while enduring a huge burden. Former POWs know this burden all too well. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than half a million Americans have been captured and interned as POWs since the American Revolution; and WHEREAS, in 1990, the POW/MIA flag was declared by Congress as the “symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for.” The flag’s sobering message, “You are Not Forgotten,” reminds Americans to never forget the true cost of freedom; and WHEREAS, today, let us express our deep gratitude to all former POWs for their unbreakable spirit and heroism in the line of duty. NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2020 as: Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to honor, support, and remember those who were prisoners of war, those presently missing in action, and their loved ones, and I direct all State agencies in possession of a POW/MIA flag to fly the POW/MIA flag on April 9, 2020.