2005 POW/MIA Recognition Day Poster Unveiled
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 16, 2005 The 2005 POW/MIA Recognition Day poster was unveiled here June 15 in honor of the sacrifices made by prisoners of war and servicemembers still unaccounted for, spanning World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
About 140,000 copies of the 2005 POW/MIA Recognition Day poster are being sent to ships at sea, military installations worldwide, Veterans Affairs medical facilities and to veterans and family organizations. Photo courtesy of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The unveiling was a highlight of the Defense Department's annual government briefings here. More than 270 family members of servicemen still missing in Southeast Asia are gathered for the three-day conclave.
The briefings give MIA family members a chance to speak with casualty officers, review their loved one's case file and meet with other families.
By custom, POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed in Pentagon ceremonies on the third Friday of September, Sept. 16 this year.
This year's poster design "recognizes that we're a nation at war," said Larry Greer, spokesman for the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. "On the poster you'll see young soldiers in combat - in Iraqi Freedom. You'll also see soldiers from World War II being held as POWs. With particular significance, that connection and the way it's designed, you see the current warriors emerging from a dark cloud where the guys from World War II are under captivity by the Germans.
"What this signifies is past and present, World War II all the way through today, the nation has an obligation to account for its missing," Greer noted. "For those who go in harm's way today, our obligation is to ensure that they come out - that they can be brought out - rescued, if necessary. To those who perished in years past, our obligation is to account for them by the recovery and identification of their remains. But there's a clear connection on the poster between World War II and today's current battlefields."
Greer said DPMO will ship about 140,000 copies of the poster, about the same number as last year, to all the ships at sea and military units around the world.
"Months ago, we contacted each of the military services and asked them to tell us where they want their service's posters shipped," he noted. Copies go to all the Veterans Affairs medical facilities and to veterans service organizations around the country such as American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War and AMVets, Greer added.
"This is so everybody who has been associated with the military today and yesterday will have an opportunity to see that this nation continues to remember its obligation to POWs and MIAs," he pointed out.
Part of the distribution also goes to family organizations particularly keyed to the families of the missing, such as the National League of Families and the National Alliance of Families.
Greer said his organization keeps several thousand posters for people who see it on the DPMO Web site and call to ask for a copy. "We'll ship them directly to anybody," he said. "There will be two images on our Web site, a regular and a high resolution. If they don't like the image they get on their Web site, they can call us and get their own paper copy."
Pointing out that "art is always in the mind of the beholder," Greer said, "It's pretty clear that what this poster is saying is, 'We Remember.' And we as a nation are committed to bringing these guys home."