Gov. Jack Markell was joined Thursday by Delaware veterans, members of the American Legion Post 14, local legislative leaders and Attorney General Beau Biden at American Legion Post14 in Smyrna for the signing of House Bill 276, which requires state agencies and schools to display the POW/MIA flag on National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The day is observed on the third Friday of September each year, which was this past Friday, Sept. 21, and is seen as an opportunity to remember prisoners of war and those who are missing in action.
Gov. Markell said flying the flag gives Delawareans a chance to educate young people and children to the U.S. military personnel who have fought in the past.
"Kids today really don't know and they should," Markell said. "I'm not going to pretend flying the flag is all the information they'll need but it's a start."
Markell said Americans owe a significant amount of gratitude to military members who were prisoners of war and those currently missing: "The POW/MIA flag has various symbols on it, but the phrase 'You are not forgotten' is the most important."
Rep. Bill Carson, D-Smyrna, was the primary House sponsor on the bill while Sen. Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna, was the chief Senate sponsor.
Carson grew up with friends who served in Vietnam, some of whom did not return. He said signing the bill pays tribute to all Delawareans listed as missing or were prisoners of war.
"This is a way to honor heroes of all generations and all wars who were captured or went missing while defending our country and the liberties we so enjoy," Carson said. "Without them, we wouldn't have the freedoms we have today. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and flying the POW/MIA flag is just one small way to do that."
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.