Raymond E. Walton American Legion Post #70

POW/MIA or Missing Man Table

We are calling your attention to this small table which occupies a place of dignity and honor at Post 70. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POWs and MIAs.

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We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their families. We join together to pay humble tribute to them, and to bear witness to their continued absence. Each detail symbolizes the depth and breadth of our respect for them:

  • The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner against his or her suppressors.
  • The tablecloth is white, symbolic of 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 comrades who keep faith while awaiting their return.
  • The red ribbon on the vase represents the red ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper account of our comrades who are not among us.
  • A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.
  • The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
  • The glass is inverted. They cannot toast with us at this time.
  • The chair is empty. They are NOT here.
  • The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
  • The American Flag reminds us that many of them may never return — and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure your freedom.

Let us pray to the Supreme Commander for the  success of our efforts to account for them and to the safety of all now serving our Nation.

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U.S. Department of Defense article “The POW/MIA or Missing Man Table”, September 15, 2021.  https://www.defense.gov/external-content/story/Article/2776327/the-powmia-or-missing-man-table/

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency National POW/MIA Recognition Day ToolKit. https://www.dpaa.mil/Portals/85/2019%20Toolkit.PDF

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