WASHINGTON, DC (WENY) -- The third Friday in September marks national POW/MIA Recognition Day in the United States; a day to honor those who were prisoners of war, and those still missing in action.

The day was established in 1979, by President Jimmy Carter. According to the Department of Defense, there are 81,383 U.S. service members who are still missing. About 75% of those are in the Indo-Pacific region; a large section of the globe that includes more than 40 countries and economies, including Japan, Vietnam, Laos, the Koreas, the Philippines and Thailand, among others.

According to data from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, of the more than 81,000 still missing, 72,183 are from World War II. Of the Korean War, 7,490 service members are still unaccounted for. From the Vietnam War, there are 1,578, and 126 from the Cold War era.

The agency works to account for the missing, as well as to identify the remains t hat have been recovered or returned to the United States. To learn more about their efforts and mission, click here