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Defense Dept. holds solemn ceremony on National POW/MIA Recognition Day

On National POW/MIA Remembrance Day, more than 81,000 troops dating back to World War II remain missing in action.

ARLINGTON, Va. — It is a solemn day for the U.S. military.

National "Prisoner of War-Missing-in-Action Recognition Day" takes place every year on the third Friday in September.

The numbers are staggering.

More than 81,000 service members remain missing and accounted for dating back to World War II.

More than 500,000 personnel have been held as prisoners of war.

Friday at the Pentagon, the Department of Defense held its annual ceremony to honor those troops and their families.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hick said the Department remains steadfast in its promise to find and return America's missing.

"For you families of the missing, please know your strength motivates us each day as we do this work and follow through on our solemn and unwavering commitment to achieve the fullest accounting possible for our missing personnel," she said.

This year the U.S. has recovered 123 formerly missing troops.

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