In a ceremony honoring hundreds of service members from Utah who have been declared Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA), Mayor Jackie Biskupski presented a proclamation declaring September 16, 2016 “POW/MIA Recognition Day in Salt Lake City.”
The Mayor was joined by relatives of service members including Carlos Jimenez whose uncle, Private First Class Thomas Montoya, U.S. Marines, was declared MIA during the Korean War and Ruby Nelson whose uncle, Technical Sergeant William N. Andrews, U.S. Army Air Force, was declared POW in World War II. Also in attendance were members of the 76th Army Reserve Operational Response Command of Fort Douglas. Colonel Doug Cherry, Chief of Staff of the 76th Division, spoke of the sacrifices these service members made for their country.
The event ended with a ceremonial raising of the POW/MIA flag in front of the Salt Lake City and County Building.
2016 POW/MIA Recognition Day in Salt Lake City Proclamation:
WHEREAS, America has long stood tall as a beacon of freedom thanks to the men and women of our Armed Forces who safeguard our country and our ideals with courage, honor, and selflessness, we rededicate ourselves to our ironclad commitment to never leaving one of our own behind; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of service members from Utah have been declared Prisoners of War or Missing in Action from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, the observance of POW/MIA Recognition Day began in 1979 to raise awareness of the large number of Americans who were still missing after the end of hostilities in Southeast Asia; and
WHEREAS, of the men and women who served our country in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and later conflicts, there are currently over 82,000 whose fates and whereabouts remain unknown; and
WHEREAS, we support the families of soldiers like Private First Class Thomas Montoya, U.S. Marines, and Technical Staff Sergeant William N. Andrews, U.S. Army Air Force, who are from Utah and entered service in Salt Lake City, and whose remains have not been recovered to this day; and
WHEREAS, on this day, by displaying the POW/MIA flag at our homes, businesses and government buildings, we send to these men and women and their families a clear message embodied in the words on the flag: “You Are Not Forgotten.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jacqueline M. Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, do hereby proclaim September 16, 2016 as:
POW/MIA Recognition Day in Salt Lake City
AND encourage all residents of Salt Lake City to reflect upon the great sacrifice these men and women have made for their country, and to honor them and their families, as a nation forever indebted.