All those who fought and served their country when they received
the call, were men and women of courage, judgment, integrity and
dedication. Where does dedication end? You can never put an end to
dedication. After all, those who remain Prisoners of War or are still
Missing in Action are still serving with never ending dedication. For
them, it can never be over. For us, we can never let their sacrifices,
or them, be forgotten.
Those who have served and those currently serving 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, deprivation and
Call your attention to the 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 forces are missing from our ranks.
They are referred to as POW's and MIA's.
We call them comrades.
They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so 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
The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their
intentions to respond to their country's call to
The single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood they
many 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 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
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 this
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
Please pray to the supreme commander that all of our
comrades will soon be back within our ranks.
Let us remember and never forget their sacrifices.
May god forever watch over them and protect them and