MISSING MAN TABLE & HONORS CEREMONY
As you entered the room, you may have noticed a special table; it is reserved to honor our missing men.
Set for six, the empty chairs represent Americans who were or are missing from each of the services – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard – and civilians, all with us in spirit.
Some here were very young, or not yet born when the Vietnam War began; however, all Americans should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call and served the cause of freedom in a special way. Let me explain the meaning of this table, and then join me for a moment of silent prayer. The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.
The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve. The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans….and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
The yellow or red ribbon symbolizes our continued uncertainty, hope for their return and determination to account for them.
A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured and missing in a foreign land. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families – who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return – alive or dead.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.
The chairs are empty – they are missing (moment of silence)
Let us now raise our water glasses in a toast to honor America’s POW/MIAs, to the success of our efforts to account for them, and to the safety of all now serving our nation.
This past Veterans Day, many restaurants offered Veterans free or discounted meals. However, some also featured a “Missing Man Table” within their establishment, visible to everyone coming through the door. Of those noted are:
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I will have a table setting at our wedding in August 12th 2023 I am a Retired Constable Royal Canadian Mounted Police
What is in the picture frame?
It break my heart to ALL POW and MIA
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loved it will use it in my church memorial service
I’m a researcher of long-term missing persons and unidentified remains. Thank you for this article.
I didn’t know all of the symbolism of the “Missing Man Table,” & I loved this article. I do free Christian counseling for vets with PTSD, so this article helped me understand the complete significance of this table. Thank you, & may God bless & comfort all our vets & their loved ones!
This is a great article. There are many people out there civilian and military who do not know the significance of the POW/MIA Table. Thank You.