RANDOLPH, NJ- “You are not forgotten”… That the meaning behind the POW / MIA remembrance movement designed to honor America’s prisoners of war, and those who are still missing in action.
One of the ways this message is spread is through the “Missing Member Table.” In honor of POW/MIA Recognition Day ( which is on the third Friday of September every year ) the Randolph VFW Post 7333 has set up a table at the Randolph Diner for the weekend of September 20 through 23. All are encouraged to stop by the diner to see the set up and pay your respects.
Below is a list of the items at the table, with an explanation of the symbolism of each:
Table set for one symbolizing the frailty of one isolated prisoner
Table is round to represent everlasting concern on the part of the survivors for their missing loved ones.
Tablecloth is white to symbolize the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
The Bible represents the strength sought and gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God
Single red rose in the vase, signifies the blood that 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.
Red ribbon fasten to the vase represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nations call.
Slice of lemon on the bread plate represents the bitter fate of the missing.
Salt sprinkled on the bread plate symbolizes the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.
Inverted glass represents the fact that the missing and fallen cannot partake.
Candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captives, to open arms of a grateful nation
Empty chair represents the missing and fallen who are not present
The point of POW/MIA Recognition Day is to ensure that American remembers to stand behind those who serve and to make sure we do everything we can to account for those who have never returned.
Many of our service members suffered as prisoners of war during several decades of varying conflicts. While some of them made it home, tens of thousands more never did. This is one way to pay our respects to them.