It is a great honor to announce the Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial has received the official endorsement of the NATIONAL LEAGUE OF POW/MIA FAMILIES. This is a proud moment for us and this endorsement represents a strong show of support for our mission.
Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, Inc
Dear Mr. Cassata,
April 23, 2018
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National League of POW/MIA Families, this letter serves as notification of our strong endorsement of the Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, Incorporated, and support for your efforts to establish a National POW/MIA Memorial at the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field.
As I understand it, the 26-acre property, located only about five miles from Interstate 10, contains the meaningful, historic chapel and an existing POW/MIA Memorial for Florida’s missing. The new memorial, in this ideal location, will focus on all missing and unaccounted-for POW/MIAs, in every branch of Service and from all wars. It will not only be a place to honor these missing Americans, but will provide visitors onsite and interactive education about the history of the POW/MIA accounting mission and ongoing efforts by our government and private citizens to achieve the fullest possible accounting.
The National League of POW/MIA Families was incorporated in 1970 with a single, three-fold purpose: the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing, and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War. The POW/MIA flag originated with the League in 1970 and is now recognized as a symbol for all Americans missing and unaccounted-for from our nation’s past wars and conflicts.
This POW/MIA logo is known throughout the world and signals to America’s Armed Forces that should they be captured or become missing, our nation will do its very best to return them to their families and the country they served. The effort to account as fully as possible for unreturned US veterans continues at a level higher than ever before in our nation’s history, and we are determined to press ahead until our realistic accounting objectives are achieved.
The League deeply appreciates the vision of Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, Inc. in moving forward to establish this commemorative park as a destination for all who wish to honor and remember these warriors who served our country in ways most servicemen were not called on to endure. When the National POW/MIA Memorial is completed, it will serve as a beacon to veterans, family members, historians, and average citizens signaling our country’s determination to stand behind those who serve our country – including our POWs and MIAs – and make every reasonable effort to bring them home.
Anne Mills-Griffiths, MIA Sister
Chairman of the Board & CEO
About The National League Of POW/MIA Families
MissionThe League’s sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.
The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia was incorporated in the District of Columbia on May 28, 1970. Voting membership is comprised of wives, children, parents, siblings and other close blood and legal relatives of Americans who were or are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), Killed in Action/Body not Recovered (KIA/BNR) and returned American Vietnam War POWs. Associate membership is comprised of veterans, other concerned citizens and extended family member POW/MIA and KIA/BNR relatives who do not meet voting membership requirements. As a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c) 3 humanitarian organization (FEIN #23-7071242), the League is financed by donations from the families, veterans and others. The League’s sole mission is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.
The League originated on the west coast in the late 1960s. Believing US Government policy of maintaining a low profile on the POW/MIA issue – while urging family members to refrain from publicly discussing the problem – was unjustified, the wife of a ranking POW initiated a loosely organized movement that evolved into the National League of POW/MIA Families. In October 1968, the first POW/MIA story was published. As a result of that publicity, the families began communicating with each other, and the group grew in strength from 50 to 100, to 300, and kept growing. Small POW/MIA family member groups, supported by concerned Americans, met with the North Vietnamese delegation in Paris, and countless thousands of Americans flooded them with telegraphic inquiries regarding the prisoners and missing, the first major activities in which there was widespread public participation.
Eventually, the necessity for formal incorporation was recognized. In May 1970, a special ad hoc meeting of the families was held at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, at which time the League’s charter and by-laws were adopted. Elected by the voting membership, a seven-member Board of Directors meets regularly to determine League policy and direction. Board Members, Regional and State Coordinators represent the League nationwide.
The League’s national office is directed by the Chairman of the Board and staffed by only one full-time employee, Office Administrator Leslie Swindells, and two part-time archival document specialists. Concerned citizens, family members and university-level interns provide support, when available. All participate in implementing policies established by the membership and elected Board of Directors, as well as advocating and coordinating public awareness and education projects. Chairman of the Board and principal League spokesman, Ann Mills-Griffiths, MIA sister, League Executive Director from mid-1978 until mid-2011, continues her role as Chief Executive Officer.
The League is nationally eligible for donations through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC #10218) and United Way.
National League of POW/MIA Families
5673 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041