The news that the remains of the downed US Navy pilot from the first Iraq war was comforting for all and shows the determination to find those who have pledged to defend the United States of America.
Over the years, I have been blessed to capture the final honors of many of those who were considered “Missing in Action” from WW II, from the Korean War, from the Vietnam War — it provides closure for the family, friends and comrades that anxiously await word that someday their loved ones were found.
Earlier this year, I attended a US Army Special Forces event and was moved by the narration that began the evening about the table that you see to your left. I was able to secure a copy of the narration and I offer it to you…
“Preserving the memories so others will remember…” ™
Special thanks to the US Army Special Forces for providing me the text…
“Narrator: You may have noticed the small table set for one that is off on its own – it is reserved to honor our fallen comrades in arms. This symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit. We should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call [to serve] and served the cause of freedom in a special way. We 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 the agonies of pain, deprivation and death. I would like to explain the meaning of the items on this special table.”
“The table is round – to show our everlasting concern for our fallen comrades. The tablecloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty. The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of our fallen comrades, and the loved ones and friends of these comrades who keep the faith. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to remember our fallen comrades. A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those who will never return. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by the families of those who have sacrificed all. The Holy Book represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country. The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time. The chair is empty because they are no longer with us. Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice. May they and their families ever be watched over and protected.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen Please Stand; As first written and first proposed by our service members in North Vietnam prisoner of war camps where only water was available for toasting, a toast to those killed in action, missing in action or to prisoners of war is made with water. At this time, please secure your water glasses. “
“Command Sergeant Major: Toast: Ladies and Gentlemen, raise your glasses to those who have not yet come home, and those who never will-Response: To our fallen comrades.”
GHTime Code(s): f3d84
Tags: US Army, US Army Special Forces, US Navy
Posted in Everything 3 years, 10 months ago at 9:20 pm. 4 comments