As you entered our COMFORT INN & SUITES in Lynchburg, Virginia you may have noticed a special table; it is reserved to honor our missing men.

Set for one, the empty chair represent Americans who were or are missing from each of the services – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard – and civilians, all with us in spirit.

Some of us were very young, or not yet born, when the Vietnam War began; however, all Americans should never forget the brave men and women who answered our Nation’s call and served the cause of freedom in a special way.

Let us explain the meaning of this table, and then join me for a moment of silent prayer.

  • The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
  • The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans….and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
  • The yellow ribbon symbolizes our continuing uncertainty, the hope for their return, and our determination to account for them.
  • A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured or missing in a foreign land.
  • A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families.
    The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return.
  • The Bible represents the strength gained through faith, to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one Nation under God.
  • The glass is inverted – symbolizing their inability to share a toast.
  • The chair is empty – they are missing…………….. (moment of silence)

Let us now raise our water glasses in a toast to honor America’s POW/MIAs, to the success of our efforts to account for them, and to the safety of all now serving our Nation!


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