Salina became the second city in Kansas and the 50th in the U.S. to be designated as a Prisoner of War (POW)-Missing in Action (MIA) City by the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIAMuseum, Inc. Manhattan was the first city.
A plaque was presented by Steve Murrison, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1432, to Salina’s governing body at the April 10 city commission meeting. Last month, Resolution Number 23-8119 was adopted by the City of Salina governing body for Salina to become a POW-MIA City.
The POW-MIA City designation is given to cities who honor and recognize all who served in any branch of the United States (U.S.) military and were captured by enemies of the U.S., or are missing in action from any year and from any conflict.
140,000 American service members were captured and served time as POWs according to the Veterans Affairs, and more than 81,500 Americans remain missing from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf Wars/other conflicts. Out of the more than 81,500 missing, 75% of the losses are located in the Indo-Pacific, and over 41,000 of the missing are presumed lost at sea (i.e. ship losses, known aircraft water losses, etc.).
In the early 1970s, a black POW-MIA flag was created by the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, and was officially recognized by Congress after the U.S. was concerned about the number of missing soldiers from the Vietnam War. The City of Salina flies a POW-MIA Flag in front of the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash St.
Now that Salina has been designated as a POW-MIA City, the VFW will hold a ceremony in the near future to raise POW-MIA awareness, assist or facilitate a POW-MIA fundraiser, display a Missing Man Table at appropriate public events, and recognize National POW-MIA days throughout the year. The POW-MIA plaque presented at the commission meeting will also be displayed in the City-County Building.
There was no cost for receiving the designation. The museum can choose a city to receive the designation or a city can apply directly to the museum to become a POW-MIA City.
For more information about the city’s POW-MIA designation, contact Murrsion at the VFW by calling 785-825-4909. To learn more about the Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum, visitjbpow-mia.org.