From left to right, Kirk Thorsteinson, Tom Dawson, Howard Colbert, and Tim Armstrong gather for Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day at the American Legion Post in Juneau. The holiday us held on the third Friday of every September to remember the more than 81,900 missing American service members. (Courtesy photo / Tom Dawson)

From left to right, Kirk Thorsteinson, Tom Dawson, Howard Colbert, and Tim Armstrong gather for Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day at the American Legion Post in Juneau. The holiday us held on the third Friday of every September to remember the more than 81,900 missing American service members. (Courtesy photo / Tom Dawson)

American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars gather for POW/MIA Recognition Day

More than 81,900 Americans never returned from our many wars.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion gathered Friday to remember service members who are missing in action or prisoners of war and never returned to their homes on POW/MIA Remembrance Day.

Members of both organizations gathered at the flagpole at the American Legion Post.

Established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, the holiday commemorates the more than 81,900 American service members missing in conflicts around the world, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. More than 41,000 of those are presumed lost at sea. The majority of missing service members were from WWII. The day of remembrance is held on the third Friday of September each year.

Efforts to locate and return the remains of American service members to American soil continue around the world today.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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