Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will host Friday's Pentagon ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the River Parade Field at 2 p.m. EDT.
The guest speaker will be Rep. Sam Johnson, a veteran of the Korean War and a former POW from the Vietnam War.
The president is expected to issue a proclamation commemorating Friday's observances and reminding the nation of those Americans who have sacrificed so much for their country.
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 National League of Families 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 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 massed troops from each of the military services as well as a joint service aircraft flyover.
The general public is invited to the event, with free parking available in lanes 58 and 59 in the North Parking lot. A shuttle bus will transport attendees to and from the ceremony. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.