As you entered the dining area, you may have noticed a special table , raised to call your attention to its purpose.It’s reserved to honor our missing comrades in arms.
Set for five, the empty places represent Americans still missing from each of the five services -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.This Honors Ceremony symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit.
Please remain seated, and join me in a moment of silent prayer, as the Honor Guard places the five service hat on the table.
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.
The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to duty.
The lone candle symbolizes the frailty of a prisoner, alone trying to stand up against his oppressors.
The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, as well as the loved ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers.
The yellow ribbon tied to the vase, is a 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 – they cannot toast with us this night.
The chairs, the chairs are empty -- they are still missing.
Prisoners of War / Missing In Action
World War I
World War II
Still Missing and Unaccounted For
National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Congress has set aside the THIRD FRIDAY of September in each year as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. It is a time to remember those who never came home. Congress has further recognized the POW/MIA flag of the National League of Families as the official flag to repersent our missing comrades in arms. This flag is to be flown over:
The Capitol and the White House in Washington, DC,
The Korean War and Vietnam Veterans War Memorials,
Every National cemetery,
Any building containing the official offices of the Secretary of State
The offices of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs,
The offices of the Director of the Selective Service System,
Every major military installation,
Every VA Medical Center, and
Every Post Office.
The POW/MIA flag is displayed daily in the Rotunda of the United States CapitolBuilding, and should be flown at all VA Medical facilities on any day the Nationalcolors are displayed. In addition to POW/MIA Recognition Day, the flag should be displayed at all the above locations on: