POW/MIA

Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Remembrance
The following verbiage is a dedication to those who have not returned.  This reading has been performed at several formal events and we encourage all MCL members to memorize and preform to the best of their ability.  Items needed for the POW/MIA table are:  White tablecloth, setting for one (plate, silverware), glass inverted, a white single candle, a single red rose in a vase with a yellow ribbon wrapped around it, salt and lemon (to place on plate), a chair (empty) with a black POW/MIA banner on backside, a bugle to play TAPS.  Less is more regarding this table - these are the basic requirements. 
 

"THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED AND THOSE CURRENTLY SERVING THE ARMED FORCES 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 AGONIES OF PAIN, DEPRIVATION AND INTERNMENT.

 

WE CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS SMALL TABLE, WHICH OCCUPIES A PLACE OF DIGNITY AND HONOR NEAR THE HEAD TABLE.  IT IS SET FOR ONE, SYMBOLIZING THE FACT THAT MEMBERS OF OUR ARMED SERVICES ARE MISSING FROM OUR RANKS.  THEY ARE REFERRED TO AS PRISONERS OF WAR AND MISSING IN ACTION.  WE CALL THEM COMRADES.

 

THEY ARE UNABLE TO BE WITH THEIR LOVED ONES AND FAMILIES TONIGHT, SO, I ASK THAT WE JOIN TOGETHER TO PAY OUR HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEM, AND BEAR WITNESS TO THEIR CONTINUED ABSENCE.


THIS TABLE, SET FOR ONE, IS SMALL - SYMBOLIZING THE FRAILTY OF ONE PRISONER, ALONE AGAINST HIS OR HER OPPRESSORS.


THE TABLECLOTH IS WHITE, SYMBOLIC OF THE PURITY OF THEIR INTENTIONS TO RESPOND TO THEIR COUNTRY’S CALL TO BEAR ARMS.


THE SINGLE ROSE IN THE VASE, SIGNIFIES THE BLOOD THAT MANY HAVE SHED IN SACRIFICE TO ENSURE THE FREEDOM OF OUR BELOVED UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  THE ROSE ALSO REMINDS US OF THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF OUR MISSING COMRADES WHO KEEP THE FAITH, WHILE AWAITING THEIR RETURN.

 

THE YELLOW RIBBON ON THE VASE REPRESENTS THE YELLOW RIBBONS WORN ON THE LAPELS OF THE THOUSANDS WHO DEMAND WITH UNYIELDING DETERMINATION A PROPER ACCOUNTING OF OUR COMRADES WHO ARE NOT AMONG US TONIGHT.


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 INVERTED – THEY CANNOT TOAST WITH US THIS NIGHT.  


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.


LET US PRAY TO THE SUPREME COMMANDER THAT ALL OF OUR COMRADES WILL SOON BE BACK WITHIN OUR RANKS.  LET US REMEMBER THEIR SACRIFICES. 


MAY GOD FOREVER WATCH OVER THEM AND PROTECT THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES.  


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE PLACE YOUR RIGHT HAND OVER YOUR HEART AND STAND AS TAPS IS PLAYED IN THEIR REMEMBRANCE”