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Rolling Thunder® NC 6

The Missing Man Table

Those who have served and those currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice.

We are compelled, to “Never Forget,” that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain, of deprivation, or of internment.

These brave men and women answered our nation’s’ call and served the Cause of Freedom. This table is a very special way of symbolizing the fact that members of our Armed Forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POW’s (or prisoners of war) and MIA’s (or missing in action); but we call them “BROTHERS.” They are unable to be with their loved ones and families here, so we bear witness to their continued absence.

The meaning of the items on our Missing Man Table:

The table is round: Showing our everlasting concern for our men and women still missing.

The tablecloth is white: The cloth symbolizes the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.

A single red rose is displayed in a vase: The red rose reminds us of the life of each of the missing and of their loved ones and close friends who keep the faith and await answers concerning their missing family member or friend.

The vase is tied with a red ribbon: A symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. Although the ribbon has been temporarily broken, it is still firmly in our grasp; and we will continue to search.

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.

A Bible is placed on the table: The bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country. The United States was founded as “One Nation Under God.”

A slice of lemon on the plate: Reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt on the plate: Symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

The inverted glass is part of the place setting: The inverted glass symbolizes their inability to toast with us.

The chair is empty: They are not here. Our lives are incomplete because they are not
here to sit with us tonight. They were there for us … we are still here for them.