Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day Proclamation - April 9th

WHEREAS, Americans have defended freedom throughout its history, and thousands have been captured in their efforts to protect our democratic way of life; and

WHEREAS, many American prisoners endured great pain and suffering at the hands of their captors, including more than 100,000 during World War II; and

WHEREAS, April marks the 641th anniversary of the first return of American POWs from North Korea during Operation Little Switch; and

WHEREAS, April also marks the 44th anniversary of the end of Operation Homecoming in which our Vietnam Era POWs returned to freedom; and

WHEREAS, it has been 26 years since the release of our Gulf War I POWs; and

WHEREAS, just 14 years ago, this country suffered the pain and sorrow of sons and daughters taken as prisoners of war, and felt relief as they witnessed the liberation of some of these brave soldiers who had been captured; and

WHEREAS, the families of the current prisoners of war and the former prisoners of war also suffer psychological pain because of the imprisonment of their loved ones; and

WHEREAS, we must ensure that our former prisoners of war receive caring, appropriate treatment for the physical and emotional scars that resulted from their confinement;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2017 as

Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

in Washington, and I encourage all people in our state to join me in recognizing and appreciating the great contributions made by those who gave so much, so freely.

Signed this 3rd day of April, 2017

Governor Jay Inslee