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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House passes POW/MIA flag display bill



A measure passed in the island House of Representatives last week emphasizes the importance of raising the black flag that honors all military personnel who were imprisoned or disappeared in combat as a symbol of “courage and pride” for veterans.

By The Star Staff


Last Thursday the island House of Representatives approved House Bill 2024 to establish the “Recognition of Soldiers Held as Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Law,” which orders the display of the flag to be adopted for such purposes in certain public buildings, resolves to raise awareness of the significance of “POW/MIA Soldiers Recognition Day” in the school communities of the Puerto Rico Department of Education, and declares the third Friday of each September as POW/MIA Soldiers Recognition Day.


The measure, which was filed by Rep. Luis R. “Narmito” Ortiz Lugo, at the request of Prof. José A. Pereda Maduro, emphasizes the importance of raising the black flag that honors all military personnel who were imprisoned or disappeared in combat as a symbol of “courage and pride” for veterans.


Ariel Torres Meléndez, president of the Corporation for the Defense of Firearms License Holders of Puerto Rico (CODEPOLA by its Spanish initials), said observing the black POW/MIA flag in federal facilities “is a source of great pride for veterans, although we always question why this sacrifice is only recognized in federal facilities within Puerto Rico.”


Torres Meléndez thanked the author of the measure “for believing in the petition and clearing the way for it through a bill that achieved the support of legislators from three political parties to vote in favor, a genuine effort that was worked on from day one as a team with Pereda Maduro, CODEPOLA’s adviser on weapons history.


Puerto Rican Independence Party Rep. Dennis Márquez Lebrón reportedly cast the lone vote against the bill, while six other legislators were absent from the vote.

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