|MISSING MAN TABLE & HONORS CEREMONY
As you entered the dining area, you may have
noticed a table at the front, raised to call your attention to its purpose -- it
is reserved to honor our missing loved ones [or missing comrades in arms, for
Set for six, the empty places represent Americans
still [our men] missing from each of the five services -- Army, Navy, Marine
Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard – and civilians. This Honors Ceremony symbolizes
that they are with us, here in spirit.
Some [here] in this room were very young when they
were sent into combat; however, all Americans should never forget the brave men
and women who answered our nation's call [to serve] and served the cause of
freedom in a special way.
I would like to ask you to stand, and remain
standing for a moment of silent prayer, as the Honor Guard places the five
service covers and a civilian cap on each empty plate.
Honor Guard: (In silence or with dignified, quiet
music as background, the Honor Guard moves into position around the table and
simultaneously places the covers of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and
Coast Guard, and a civilian hat, on the dinner plate at each table setting. The
Honor Guard then departs.)
Please be seated ....... I would like to explain
the meaning of the items on this special table.
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 [morning’s/day’s] toast.
The chairs are empty -- they are missing.
Let us now raise our water glasses in a toast to
honor America's POW/MIAs and to the success of our efforts to account for them.
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES
OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
Information on other medals:
In addition our government will provide replacement medals and ribbons free of
charge to any veteran or their next of kin. I also applied for these and
recently received them approximately 9 months after applying for them.
They are very nice and even engraved with his name on them.
Here is a links with info on ordering these: