National Former Prisoner Of War Recognition Day

As the name of this holiday suggests, National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day honors the men and women who were captured by the enemy and became prisoners of war.

It is observed annually on April 9th and has been officially recognized since the late 1980s. Thanks to yearly Congressional and Presidential proclamations, this holiday continues to be observed by anyone interested in remembering the sacrifices of POWs in the U.S.

The History of National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

During the 1980s, a movement started by former prisoners of war sought to recognize their POW brothers and sisters who made enormous sacrifices for their country. The United States Congress approved legislation in 1988 that commemorated the captives of the Bataan Death March by making April 9th an official observance. U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued an official proclamation for April 9th every year. The holiday has been observed ever since.

Facts About America’s POWs

Below are some facts about American prisoners of war:

  • American prisoners of war were killed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.
  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy’s father, was a prisoner of war in Japan during WWII.
  • During the Vietnam War, more than 80% of POWs in North Vietnam were aircrew personnel.

Observing National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day

This holiday is observed by veterans, government officials, and civic leaders all over the U.S. It is also celebrated by any private citizen who wants to honor and recognize the sacrifices of the nation’s POWs. People also use the hashtag #NationalFormerPrisonerOfWarRecognitionDay to spread the word about this holiday online.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 9 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
April 9 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
April 9 Sunday
Appreciation & Honor