The third Friday of September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Many Americans would like to honor our nations Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, but are not sure how. I suggest setting a traditional remembrance table at your family dinner, or requesting one be set at your favorite restaurant. The tradition takes only a few minutes and is a small but meaningful gesture to those who have perhaps made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Here is a list of the items required:
• Small American Flag
• Small round table
• White tablecloth
• Single place setting
• Pinch of salt sprinkled on plate
• Wine glass – inverted
• Slice of lemon on bread plate with a pile of spilled salt
• Small bud vase with a single stem red rose
• Red ribbon tied around the vase
• White candle – lit
• Empty chair
This is a suggested passage to be read, or considered:
This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that brave Americans are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs or MIAs, we call them “warriors.” They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
This Table, set for one, is small and symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.
The Tablecloth is white and symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
The single 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 warriors who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.
The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon and represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.
The lit candle is symbolizes the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illumi-
nate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.
The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
The wine glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us this night.
The chair is empty. They are not here.
The American Flag reminds us that many of them may never return – and have paid the supreme sacrifice to ensure our freedom.
Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice.
May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.