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  • Today is the National Day of Remembrance for POW/MIA. Where I work I belong to a group called the Veterans Task Force. We have three different events throughout the year… Memorial Day, POW/MIA, and Veterans Day.

    This past Wednesday we held our POW/MIA event. This included the “Missing Man Table”. If you have never seen a presentation of this… let me give you a brief description.

    The table and symbols include:

    The table is round -- to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.

    The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

    The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and the loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.

    The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.

    A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

    A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

    The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

    The glass is inverted -- to symbolize their inability to share this evening's toast.

    The chairs are empty -- they are missing.

    There are 6 chairs draped in black… one of each branch of the military and one civilian.

    The ceremony begins with a silent prayer and then an Honor Guard representing each chair. They carry the service covers of each military branch and a civilian cap. The MC asks for the Honor Guard to come forward. Each representative moves to their position behind the chair at the table, places the cover in the center of the dinner plate and salutes. After all have taken their place around the table, they simultaneously salute and return to the audience. The MC then explains the meaning of each item on the table and asks that all raise a toast to honor America’s POW/MIAs and to the success of our efforts to account for them.

    This year I was truly honored to be the Honor Guard for the U.S. Army. Never Forget those who have yet to come home.

    (Picture is of this year’s table)
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