Proclamation 5951—National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day, 1989
By the President of the United States of America
Since the Revolutionary War, generations of Americans have been willing to make great sacrifices in order to win and preserve our Nation's freedoms. Few Americans could appreciate that freedom more than those who suffered capture and imprisonment during times of war. Many of these Americans were subject to mistreatment and torture in violation of fundamental standards of mortality and the international code of conduct for the treatment of prisoners of war. Some would never survive.
Thousands of Americans captured during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts endured starvation, disease, and physical and psychological torture, in addition to separtion from loved ones. Our Nation must never forget the great price these and other Americans paid so that we might live in peace and freedom.
Today, each and every American should recognize the tremendous debt we owe former prisoners of war. Let us always strive to be worthy of their sacrifices, and let us always be thankful for the blessings of liberty they helped to secure for our country.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 43, has designated April 9, 1989, as "National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 9, 1989, as National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day, a day dedicated to all American former prisoners of war. I call upon government officials, private organizations and individual Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, to honor former prisoners of war, and to renew our Nation's appreciation for the rights and freedom they defended. I also invite national and local veterans organizations and civic groups to join in the observance of this day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.
George Bush, Proclamation 5951—National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/268799