BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sunday, a particular group of veterans who made major sacrifices for their country were recognized. National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day was acknowledged around the nation, including in Buffalo.
A ceremony at the Buffalo VA Hospital saluted local vets from Western New York, some of them who were captured during World War II by German or Japanese forces.
The tribute included a lecture from a VA staffer who explained that this National POW Day of April 9th marks the date when U.S. forces in the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese with the infamous Bataan Death March. Many POWs were executed.
"Focusing in on their sacrifice and on the good things, the wonderful things they have done in our country after returning," said Robert Young, a Buffalo VA Social Worker. "It's wonderful virtues that they have shown afterwards and it is our privilege that they are still among us."
Since World War I, more than 142,000 American soldiers have been captured and sent to enemy prisoner of war camps.
Some also listed as Missing in Action have never been found.