Military Veterans Want SJ City Hall to Fly POW/MIA Flag - NBC Bay Area
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Military Veterans Want SJ City Hall to Fly POW/MIA Flag

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    Military veterans are asking San Jose to permanently fly a flag honoring service members missing in action or who are prisoners of war. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Thursday, June 18, 2015)

    Military veterans are asking San Jose to permanently fly a flag honoring service members missing in action or who are prisoners of war.

    Veterans said the POW/MIA flag is a powerful symbol meant to honor and remember those left behind in war zones.

    "This is the banner that recognizes that commitment, that they are not forgotten," said Francis McVey, United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County. "That everybody comes home and is searched for until they or their remains are found and identified."

    The POW/MIA flag flies every day above San Jose's Hall of Justice. The president of the United Veterans Council said the flag should also fly above San Jose's City Hall.

    San Jose City Hall currently flies the United States flag, the California flag and the city flag. A fourth flag that changes for special ceremonies also is up at San Jose City Hall. On Thursday the city flew the flag of Puerto Rico.

    "We're trying to strike a balance on our robust program for flying all kinds of special recognition flags," said Barry Ng, San Jose Public Works director. "We definitely understand the POW/MIA flag has special meaning."

    On Tuesday, the city is expected to vote on flying the POW/MIA flag six times a year for a total of about 42 days. Upset veterans plan to attend and crowd the meeting.

    "They're demanding it to fly 365 days a year as done at the State Capitol and Capitol of many other states," McVey said.

    McVey is proposing the POW/MIA flag fly beneath the American flag so the city can keep its tradition on the fourth flagpole. American Legions Posts from across the Silicon Valley will back that idea at Tuesday's meeting.

    "Anyone who goes into service believes their country will stand behind them and will not be forgotten if they become prisoners of war, or are missing in action," McVey said.

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