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    Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I–Patterson) and Assemblyman David Buchwald (D–White Plains) have announced that the New York State Legislature has passed a bill that Buchwald authored and Ball championed that would require local governments to display the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flag when it is provided to the municipality by a local veterans organization (S7483/A8489A). The legislation will now be sent to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo for approval.

    “It was an honor to be part of the passing of such a meaningful piece of legislation. We must never forget those who have sacrificed so much. This nation must always show resolve in recognizing and honoring our beloved POW/MIA heroes. It is critically important that all of those who have served our country are recognized for their sacrifice, and that is especially true for this special class of heroes,” said Senator Greg Ball.

    “The POW/MIA flag is a symbol of respect and honor, as well as a reminder of the enormous sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our country,” stated Assemblyman Buchwald. “Displaying this flag is an important way to carry on the tradition of honoring our nation’s veterans and military families.”

    The POW/MIA flag was developed by the National League of Families to remind all citizens about the U.S. military personnel who were taken as prisoners or listed as missing in action. The flag was officially recognized by Congress in 1998 and was authorized to fly each year on several national observances, including Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Congress also designated the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.[1] The bill passed by Buchwald and Ball requires local municipalities to display the flag on these six days as well. This legislation will not be a financial burden on municipalities, as the POW/MIA flags are required to be flown only when provided by a local veterans organization along with any necessary attachments or fasteners.

    “The New York State Council of Veterans Organizations proudly supports this legislation, and I am very grateful to Assemblyman Buchwald and Senator Ball for passing it,” said Tom DeMeo, President of the New York State Council of Veterans Organizations. “It will give veterans and military families great pride to see the POW/MIA flag waving from their local town or city hall.”

    “It is a measure of one’s commitment to purpose that distinguishes Senator Ball and Assemblyman Buchwald from mere legislators. In this case, their commitment to POW/MIAs and for all those unaccounted for is remarkable and exemplary,” said Eugene Parrotta, Chairman of Senator Greg Ball’s Veterans Advisory Council.