Veterans Groups Applaud Return of POW/MIA Flag Above White House Following Bipartisan Call Led by Senators Hassan, Warren, Cotton
Last Week, the White House Raised the POW/MIA Flag with the American Flag Atop the White House for the First Time in Nearly a Year
WASHINGTON – 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.
“The POW/MIA flag is a powerful reminder of the many men and women in uniform whose brave service and enormous sacrifices have been instrumental in defending our freedoms at home and abroad,” said Senator Hassan. “I want to thank the Veterans Service Organization leaders across the county who spoke out about this and worked with us to ensure that the POW/MIA flag once again flies with the American flag above the White House.”
“I am glad that the POW/MIA flag has been restored to its rightful place atop the White House, which was the intent of the bill I introduced with my colleagues – it’s our duty to honor those who have served our nation with courage, including those who have not made it home. My three older brothers served in the military, and I appreciate the sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make each day to keep our country safe," said Senator Warren.
“More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from past wars. Prominently displaying the POW/MIA flag will remind all Americans that the recovery of captive or missing servicemembers should be a top priority for the administration,” said Senator Cotton.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki credited Senators Hassan, Warren, and Cotton for leading the bipartisan efforts to restore the POW/MIA flag to its rightful place above the White House during her White House press briefing. You can watch the Press Secretary's remarks here.
See below for statements of support from National and NH Veterans Service Organization leaders:
“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, New Hampshire.
“Rolling Thunder ®Inc. 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 ®Inc. New Hampshire Chapters One and Two.
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.
In the first week of the Biden administration, Senator Hassan led a bipartisan push with Senators Warren and Cotton for the return of the flag to atop the White House, which happened for the first time last week. This effort was supported by the American Legion, the National League of POW/MIA Families, Rolling Thunder, Inc., and numerous New Hampshire groups including the Northeast POW/MIA Network; NH VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars); Colonel Edward Cross Chapter, the NH Chapter of AUSA; Rolling Thunder ® Inc. Chapter One & Two NH; and Vietnam Veterans of America New Hampshire.
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