POW/MIA REMEMBRANCE (Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony)
· I call your attention to the table at the front, side of the room. It occupies a place of dignity and honor. Its purpose is to honor missing comrades-in-arms. Please stand.
· It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POW’s and MIA’s.
· We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them and to bear witness to their continued absence.
· The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressors.
· The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
· The single red rose in the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith, while awaiting their return.
· The red ribbon on the vase represents the red ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand, with unyielding determination, a proper account of our comrades who are not among us.
· A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate. · The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
· The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time.
· The chair is empty. They are NOT here.
· The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to open arms of a grateful nation.
· The American flag reminds us that many of them may never return and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure our freedom.
Let us pray to the Supreme Commander that all of our comrades will soon be back within our ranks.
Let us remember and never forget their sacrifice.
May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.