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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Cincinnati, Ohio)
For Immediate Release                                 September 17, 1998




For more than two centuries, America has been blessed by the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our Armed Forces. Often leaving home and family, they have fought to preserve our freedom, protect our national interests, and advance American values and ideals around the globe. These valiant heroes have risked -- and many have lost -- their lives in service to our Nation and for the well-being of their fellow Americans.

Each year, on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we acknowledge with special gratitude and profound respect those who paid for our freedom with their own, and we remember with deep sorrow those whose fate has never been resolved. Americans who were held as prisoners of war throughout our history endured the indignities and brutality of captivity without surrendering their devotion to duty, honor, and country. With steadfast hearts and indomitable spirit, these patriots never gave up on America because they knew that America, and the American people, would never give up on them.

In the same way, we will never give up on our efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting of every American missing in service to our country. We reaffirm our pledge to their families to search unceasingly for information about those missing and to seek the repatriation of those who have died and whose remains have not been recovered. By doing so we keep faith with our men and women in the Armed Forces and with the families who have suffered the anguish of not knowing the fate of their loved ones.

On September 18, 1998, the flag of the National League of Families of American Prisoners of War and Missing in Southeast Asia, a black and white banner symbolizing America's missing and our fierce determination to account for them, will be flown over the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the Selective Service System Headquarters, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, national cemeteries, and other locations across our country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18, 1998, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I ask all Americans to join me in honoring former American prisoners of war and those whose fate is still undetermined. I also encourage the American people to remember with compassion and concern the courageous families who persevere in their quest to know the fate of their missing loved ones.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third.


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