Brooks’ POW-MIA Flag Bill Heads to Governor

HARRISBURG (Oct. 23, 2020) Sen. Michele Brooks’ legislation to fly the official POW-MIA flag at all Pennsylvania Turnpike service plazas, highway welcome centers, and rest stops is on its way to the Governor, after approval in both the House and Senate. 

The flag, with a black background and white lettering, features barbed wire, a watchtower, and the words “You are not forgotten.”

In advocating for Senate Bill 395, Brooks recalled a heartwarming hometown parade held in 2012 to honor a local Prisoner of War from the Korean Conflict whose remains were returned to Meadville.

“This community outpouring of love and support included not only veterans, but residents of every age group, from the smallest children to our most seasoned seniors,” she said. “By flying the POW-MIA flag in more prominent public places, it is this recognition and remembrance that I seek for all those who need to be returned home.” 

She added that, “This cause has united our community for decades.  For years in my district, every January, often in bitterly cold temperatures, the late Col. Gary Solander led a community vigil to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.  Crowds of people would endure the biting wind and cold to light candles, and join together in prayer for the return of our hometown heroes. Although Col. Solander has passed away, I am grateful that the state is preserving his legacy and carrying forth his efforts.”  

“It is my hope that, as motorists view this flag throughout Pennsylvania, they will take a moment to reflect upon what this symbol of heroism truly means, and remember the many families across Pennsylvania and our nation who still grieve, yet hold on to hope that their loved ones’ remains will be returned back home,” Brooks said.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, from World War II, to the Korean War to the Vietnam War, approximately 5,461 members of the military were missing or held captive by the enemy, giving their families no final resting place to mourn their loved ones.

The legislation will now go to the governor for his signature. 

 

Contact:      Diane McNaughton      (717) 787-1322              dmmcnaughton@pasen.gov