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National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day is a day that, while not as well-known as National POW/MIA Recognition Day, is just as important. It is a day to honor captured wartime service members who eventually came home. The word “former” is the key to remembering the major difference between these two events honored every year on their respective days. It is observed annually on April 9th, and commemorates the surrender of between 60,000 and 80,000 US and Filipino service members to the Imperial Japanese army at the Bataan Peninsula, Philippines in 1942.
The late Senator John McCain is a former POW; his memory and the memories of many others who came home from POW camps are on the minds of those who observe both holidays. And there are troops still unaccounted for to this day who should be remembered in the same manner as those who came home.
The Backstory of National Former POW Recognition Day