Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace, U. S. Marine Corps, will host the Pentagon ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the Mall Entrance Parade Field on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at 11 a.m. EDT. Mrs. Patricia Scharf, widow of Col. Charles Scharf, an Air Force pilot who went missing-in-action during the Vietnam War and whose remains were recently identified, will be the guest speaker.
Observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans' facilities. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. The flag is to be flown at major military installations, national cemeteries, all post offices, VA medical facilities, the WWII Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the official offices of the secretaries of state, defense and veterans affairs, the director of the selective service system and the White House.
Friday’s Pentagon ceremony will feature troops from each of the military services.
Members of the media without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the North Parking Entrance only. Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Media interested in coverage of this event may contact Terry Mitchell at (703) 695-0169.
In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.