Veterans Service Organization leaders applauded the return of the POW/MIA flag to atop the White House last week, marking the end of a nearly year-long effort to again fly the POW/MIA flag above the White House with the American flag. The raising of the flag followed bipartisan efforts led by U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) to restore the POW/MIA flag above the White House.
In 2019, Senators Hassan, Warren, and colleagues passed into law bipartisan legislation to require the POW/MIA flag be displayed wherever the American flag is displayed on prominent federal properties to honor the more than 81,000 Americans who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), or otherwise unaccounted for from our country’s past wars and conflicts. However, the previous administration moved the POW/MIA flag from above the White House last year for a Memorial Day event and never returned it.
“The POW flag issue may seem small to some considering what we as Americans are facing today, but nothing was worse than the abandonment experienced by our Vietnam veterans, families and many others. Those who have been involved in this issue with the POW/MIA flag being removed from atop the White House, for whatever reason, are grateful beyond words to Senator Maggie Hassan. The NE POW/MIA Network is an absolutely non-political organization, but the Network knows the Senator has served the Veterans of New Hampshire since her time in state government, Semper Fi Senator Hassan,” said Bob Jones, Vietnam Veteran & President of the Northeast POW/MIA Network.
“On behalf of POW/MIA families, I want to commend Senators Hassan, Warren and Cotton for their bipartisan leadership in calling on the President to restore our internationally recognized symbol, the POW/MIA flag, to its rightful place atop the White House. Visibly displayed under our U.S. flag, this step clearly signals the importance America attaches to accounting for those captured or missing from our nation’s past wars and conflicts, just as it signals those serving today that we are with them!” said Ann Mills-Griffiths, Chairman/CEO of the National League of POW/MIA Families.
“We support and are proud to see the POW/MIA flag flying atop the White House once again to honoring those who have never returned home to the USA. We worked very hard with Sen Warren's office to get the National POW/MIA Flag Act signed into Law. The support of Sen. Hassan was a huge help getting the POW/MIA Flag flying over the White House, and remain a potent symbol of our Nation's concern and our commitment to resolving the fates of the 82,000 American still missing,” said Gus Dante for Rolling Thunder, Inc.
“The Veterans of Foreign Wars of New Hampshire would like to thank Senator Hassan and other senators for their hard and diligent efforts to get the POW/ MIA flag back to where it should be which is where all veterans feel it should be, below the American flag atop the White House. Thank you,” said Darwin Beeman, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Department Commander NH.
“Rolling Thunder NH Chapters 1 & 2 would like to express our utmost gratitude to Senator Maggie Hassan for her perseverance in ensuring the POW/MIA flag remains flown above the White House for all times. Senator Hassan’s efforts help to ensure that those who are no longer with us still have a voice; the flag represents the memory of the ultimate sacrifice of the missing and imprisoned. It is crucial that it remains an ever present symbol flown with the American flag that they so valiantly fought to protect,” said Jon Dion, President of Rolling Thunder NH Chapters One and Two.