The number of Americans missing and unaccounted for during wartime service since WWI stands at a staggering 93,266. The breakdown by war is:
World War I: 4,452
World War II: 78,773
Cold War: 123
Korean War: 8,100
Vietnam War: 1,815
Persian Gulf War: 3
National POW/MIA Recognition Day History
On July 18, 1979, the first commemoration event to honor America's POWs and MIAs was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Each year since - with the exception of the 1985 event that was cancelled due to inclement weather - the United States has honored its POWs and MIAs through the National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
Since 1986, the event has been held each year on the third Friday of September. Ceremonies are held throughout the nation and around the world at numerous venues including schools, military installations, ships at sea, and state capitols.
National League of POW/MIA Families
The driving force behind many of the POW/MIA efforts today is the National League of POW/MIA Families. The League was established in 1970 following the Vietnam War, and its purpose is to obtain as much information as possible concerning those missing or killed in the Vietnam War. Their efforts include having the remains of those killed returned to the U.S., accounting for the missing, and obtaining the release of those prisoners captured during the war.