Missing men remembered, honored on POW/MIA?Day
There were no speeches, few words were spoken and the ceremony lasted just five minutes.
But that doesn’t detract from the emotion of the event.
A Missing Man ceremony was held on Friday evening at the Sugar Grove Community Park in remembrance and honor of POW-MIA Day.
The ceremony features a table with various items, each having their own meaning, spread out.
The table cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of the motives with which those missing answered the call.
A rose symbolizes the life of each of the missing as well as the loved ones and friends who have kept the faith.
The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbolic of our nation’s determination to account for all of our missing.
A slice of lemon on a plate serves as a reminder of the bitter fate befallen those who have been captured and are missing in foreign lands.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears cried for those missing and a Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country.
The glass is inverted to symbolize that the missing can’t take part in a toast with those who live.
And, above all, the chair is empty.
In a presidential proclamation, President Barack Obama said that, “our country endures because in every generation, courageous Americans answer the call to serve in our Armed Forces. They represent the very best of the human spirit, stand tall for the values and freedoms we cherish, and uphold peace and security at home and around the globe.
“Today, we pay tribute to the service members who have not returned from the battlefield, we stand beside their families, and we honor those who are held captive as prisoners of war. We will never forget their sacrifice, nor will we ever abandon our responsibility to do everything in our power to bring them home.”
POW-MIA Day is traditionally held on the third Friday in September.