This Table set for one is small -- Symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors. Remember!
The Tablecloth is white -- Symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. Remember!
The single Red Rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. Remember!
The Red Ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing. Remember!
The Candle, the candle is lit -- Symbolizing the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit. Remember!
A Slice of Lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate. Remember!
There is Salt upon the bread plate -- Symbolic of the families' tears as they wait. Remember!
The Glass is inverted -- They cannot toast with us this night. Remember!
The Chair -- The chair is empty. They are not here. Remember!
Remember! -- All of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you. Remember!
Remember! -- Until the day they come home, Remember!
--Larry H. Tassone, USAF (Ret)
Today is a day to honor all veterans, but I thought it would be an especially appropriate time to post this picture, taken this past Memorial Day at the Plum Legion. I'd never seen this tableau before- I've been to more than one Memorial Day tribute, but this was new to me. The solemnity and reverence with which the men of the Post attended to this table, and to the reading of the above, truly touched me- all the more remarkable given I was there for a ceremony honoring my father, as well as all those members who passed on over the past year.
So often, when I think about all those men and women who have served America, I think about all the ones who died, fighting for their Country, or their Family, or just the Soldier next to him. Or I think about those who lived, and came back to their Country, and to their Family, and to their fellow Soldiers.
Not often enough do I think of those soldiers lost to us- those Missing in Action, unable to come home to their Country, to their Family, to their fellow Soldier; and the Prisoners of War, who sometimes do come home, but are always haunted and marked by their time kept away from their Country, their Family, their fellow Soldiers.
So please, think about them all- think of the veterans living, deceased, and lost...