HANOI, September 21, 2020 – On September 18, 2020, the representatives of U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) held a ceremony in Hanoi to recognize National POW/MIA Recognition Day in honor those who were held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing from past conflicts.
Ambassador Kritenbrink delivered remarks at the ceremony and stated, “During this annual observance Americans pause to reflect on the sacrifices of service members who were held captive and returned, but also those who have yet to return home… Remembering them is incumbent on us.”
The United States and Vietnam started to work together on accounting for missing personnel in the 1980s, and the cooperation on this humanitarian work laid the foundation for the normalization of bilateral ties in 1995. For over 30 years, the United States and Government of Vietnam have sustained strong cooperation to provide the fullest possible accounting for those Americans still missing from the war in Southeast Asia. At the end of the war, 1,973 U.S. military and civilian personnel were unaccounted for in Vietnam. Since then, the remains of 727 personnel have been identified and returned to their loved ones. The DPAA and Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Personnel continue their pursuit to account for the remaining 1,246 personnel.
Ambassador Kritenbrink further stated, “We are grateful for Vietnam’s partnership in this noble endeavor. …What I witnessed is the dedication and cooperation between American and Vietnamese teams, partnered in some of the harshest conditions, to return our fallen. For me, these striking experiences are a vivid reminder of our government’s steadfast commitment to this noble endeavor, which the U.S. Embassy supports in every possible capacity.”
More About National POW/MIA Recognition Day: On this day, the U.S. Secretary of Defense hosts the official National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony annually at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to honor missing personnel and their families. In addition, DPAA staff members will participate in similar events for POW/MIA Recognition Day in various other locations within the United States and abroad. Globally, DPAA is focused on the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of the missing personnel lost in conflicts from World War II to Iraq.