Veterans Day was observed at a recent meeting. The club recognized members who have served in the military. A specially set table was in the room as a reminder of those service men and women who are no longer with us. The table comes from a long military tradition of setting aside a table for the fallen at special events. Some call it the Remembrance Table, or the Fallen Soldier Table. The National League of POW-MIA Families calls it the Missing Man Table to reflect not only the dead but those long missing in action. It engraves upon people’s hearts and minds the tragic sacrifice made by those who gave up their lives or freedom so that we might continue to enjoy living in ordered liberty and the rule of law. 

To help us better understand the symbols placed on the table, veteran Chip Bayer described the meaning of all the items on the table:

A folded Flag, reminds us of the sacrifice of their families. 

The white tablecloth stands for the purity of intention of the service members’ motives when serving their nation. 

The empty chair represents an unknown face behind a loss that will never be filled. 

The round table is used to show that our concern for the fallen is never-ending. 

A black cloth napkin stands for the emptiness “these warriors have left in the hearts of their family and friends.” 

The Bible is a sign of “the soldier’s faith in a higher power and the pledge to the country, founded as one nation under God.” 

A single red rose represents families and loved ones. 

A red ribbon around the vase symbolizes the love of country that inspired the soldiers to answer the nation’s call. 

The pinch of salt found on the small bread plate represents the tears shed for those who died. 

Also, on the plate are slices of lemon to symbolize the soldiers’ bitter fate. 

A yellow candle and accompanying yellow ribbon represent the everlasting hope for those still missing. 

The upside-down goblet signifies those distinguished comrades who will never be able to toast or join in the festivities that are part of our lives.

While we value our freedom, remember that freedom is never free. Thank you to all who have served our country, working to protect us and the freedoms we enjoy.

Pam Whitenack, President 2021-2022