The history behind the POW-MIA Flag - | SoKY Community, Events, Weather


The history behind the POW-MIA Flag

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It's a flag you see flying all across the country. It's recognizable black and white silhouette waving in the breeze. And it's a flag that has connections to a family right here in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Mary Hoff - who sadly passed away in 2015 - came up with the idea for the POW-MIA flag back in 1970 to honor and remember the soldiers who gave their lives while on duty, as well as to create a way for their families to reflect upon their service. Hoff came to this decision just months after her husband's plane was shot down over Laos while going on a mission during the Vietnam War.

"When they originally did the artwork for it there were a lot of colors," said Suzanne Hoff Ogawa, the daughter of Mary Hoff. "She was very strong in wanting it to be black and white and just dark with what they were going through."

The flag was created as a way to pay homage to all the soldiers who gave their lives in the line of duty, or never made it home at all to see their family, something Hoff Ogawa can relate to after losing her father when she was a mere two years old.

"Even though I have no memory of him, you have that sense of loss your entire life," Hoff Ogawa said. "I'll be 51 (years old) this year and I still have that sense of loss."

For Hoff Ogawa and many other families who have lost a love one in active duty, seeing this flag fly alongside the American Flag is emotional, especially on this Memorial Day.

"They're special moments. Every time I see it I can't help but stop and think about my family's involvement in it, as well as all of the veterans," she said.

All gave some; some gave all. And to all of them today, we remember to honor them and say thank you for their service to this great nation of ours.

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