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President Trump marks National POW/MIA Recognition Day

President Donald Trump has proclaimed Friday National POW/MIA Recognition Day, a day marked every September to honor those captured or missing in action.

“It is our sacred obligation to pay tribute to the thousands of men and women of our Armed Forces who have been imprisoned while serving in conflicts and who have yet to return to American soil,” President Trump’s proclamation said.

President Trump called the servicemembers heroes in a tweet Friday, linking to the proclamation he had signed two days prior.

The President’s declaration in office contrasts with comments he made on the campaign trail, when he disparaged Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. In July 2015, President Trump said in an Iowa forum that McCain is “not a war hero.”

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” President Trump continued. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

President Trump declined to apologize after the remarks brought a wave of criticism and argued in an interview there was not enough attention paid to people who served but were not prisoners of war.

“People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also,” President Trump said.

McCain endured years of imprisonment and torture in the Vietnam War and refused to be released until those imprisoned longer than him were free.

Following McCain’s cancer diagnosis this summer, President Trump called him an “American hero” on Twitter.