HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — “You are not forgotten”

That is the central phrase behind POW-MIA Recognition Friday, Sept. 16.

Ceremonies were held across the nation, which included one at Soldiers Grove at the State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg.

There are 81,000 veterans missing in action, with half of them presumed to be lost at sea. The day is held on the third Friday of September, honoring the sacrifices of these veterans and the nation’s commitment to return them home.

“The day was first observed in 1979 after Congress and President Carter passed a resolution to make it official following the demands of 2,500 Vietnam war POW MIA’s who asked for accountability in finding their loved ones,” Director of Staff for Pa. Air National Guard Donald O’Shell said.

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There have been 37 prisoners of war since Vietnam. No service member is in captivity but, the military said there are 60 Americans wrongfully detained in 18 different countries. That includes Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.