As you entered the canteen area, you may have noticed a small table in a place of honor. It is set for one. This is the POW / MIA table that is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. We call them Brothers.
They are unable to be with us today and so we proudly remember them. This table, set for one, is a symbol of the tables in thousands of homes across our Country with chairs that have remained empty for many years.
The following describes certain aspects of this special table:
- The table is round to show our everlasting concern.
- The cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answer the call to duty.
- The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these men and women and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
- The red symbolizes our continued determination to account for them.
- A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
- A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
- The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God, to sustain those lost from our midst.
- The glass is inverted to symbolize their inability to share this evening’s toast.
- The chair is empty; they are missing…..
Remember them, all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid and relied upon them, for surely they have not forsaken you. May they never be forgotten and may they always hold a special place in our hearts and be a part of our daily lives and prayers.