The POW/MIA Table
At every formal military dining in or out there is a small table set up to honor our POWs and MIAs. Below is the dialogue for the very touching ceremony.
Those who have served, and those currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States, are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, deprivation and imprisonment.
Before we begin our activities, we pause to recognize our POWs and MIAs.
You may notice this small table here in a place of honor. It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing the act that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly call P.O.W.'s or M.I.A.'s, we call them brothers.
They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
The table is round -- to show our everlasting concern for our missing men and women. Remember.
This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors. Remember.
The table cloth is white... it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. Remember.
The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return. Remember.
The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing. Remember.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate... to remind us of their bitter fate. Remember.
There is salt upon the bread plate... symbolic of the family's tears as they wait. Remember.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. Remember.
The glass is inverted... they cannot toast with us tonight. Remember.
The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation. Remember.
The chair is empty... they are not here. Remember.
Remember... all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended on their might and aid, and relied on them... for surely... they have not forsaken you.
May god forever watch over them and protect them and their families.