I understand that there are instances where our national security might be at risk and the government needs to keep something a secret. Not only is this understandable, but I think it is common sense. However, why does it take almost 70 years to get declassification of information relating to missing and unaccounted-for military members from World War II, or any modern conflicts through the Cold War? This includes the Vietnam War and Korean War. What can be so important to our national security that the families of 73,690 WW II soldiers MIA cannot have closure by finding out where their loved ones are?
The national security of the United States of America is far more valuable then any singular family within the United States. The soldiers that are MIA are of great concern to all Americans, but these same soldiers that died to protect our country if they could be asked they would agree with the government keeping secrets to protect America. They would also say that the security of the USA far outweighs any concerns their families would have concerning their whereabouts.
There is no doubt that this is a delicate issue for the families and for our government. But how long is long enough? I, too, have family who have passed on. some of them before their time. Unlike the families of these 83,472 Missing In Action soldiers from WW II through the Cold War, I know exactly why my family members died and where they are laid to rest. I feel for these families. They want closure. They just want to know. Is it really a threat to our national security? I could total see some issues with releasing information about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Gulf War, but we are talking about soldiers MIA 70 years ago in WW II, 60 years ago in Korea, and almost 50 years ago in Vietnam. Starting with Vietnam and moving further back in time, it gets more and more insane that this is a threat to out national security. It seems trivial when someone has been dead for 50 – 70 years. You would think that people would get over it, but some people need a definitive answer. So I, being one of those people who could ask my almost 92 year old Grandmother about her parents, can grasp how these families of MIA soldiers feel. They are being denied the ability to pass on their family heritage. I do understand this. And that is why these families should be able to know what happened to their loved ones.
I know, I know…the title of this article starts with a “How to” so where is it? Are you getting to know me by now? There is always a point. How do you go about finding a MIA from 70 years ago? It is not easy. Since 1991 there has been over a million declassified documents placed in the Library of Congress for the public to access. That’s correct…a million. Didn’t I just say, “It is not easy”? But with all kidding aside…here are a few things you can do to help find where your loved one is and how they died.
- Go to the Library of Congress and look through the over 1 million declassified documents.
- Contact Maj. Carie A. Parker, at the Department of Defense’s POW/Missing Personnel Office.
- Call your Congressman and urge them to support the resolution dealing with this exact issue that Walter Jones, a Member of the House of Representatives for North Carolina, introduced.