Charity Highlight: The National League of POW/MIA Families

POW-MIA flag

Gone…but not forgotten.

The National League of POW/MIA Families’ sole purpose¬† is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.

As of August 13, 2014, there are still 1,641 personnel listed by the Department of Defense as missing and unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. Operations are an ongoing effort to recover remains in remote locations.

To maintain high visibility and to honor the promise of “You Are Not Forgotten” there are events, ceremonies and a National POW/MIA Recognition Day to keep our POW/MIA’s in the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.

September 19, 2014 will be proclaimed by the President as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Over the past several years, all or most of the 50 states have proclaimed POW/MIA Recognition Day in conjunction with the national effort. Across the country, local POW/MIA ceremonies are encouraged throughout POW/MIA Recognition Week, culminating with countless events and the national ceremony in Washington, DC, on Recognition Day.

You can learn more about different events happening across the country by vising their page:  http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/events/

Flags and bracelets are also available for purchase:  http://www.pow-miafamilies.org/events/

POW/MIA Missing Man Table

If you have been to a military event, a dining room, a VFW or AMVETS location, you may have noticed a special table; it is reserved to honor our missing men.

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

POW/MIA Missing Man Table

At formal events, you will see a “fully dressed” table and will observe the Missing Man Ceremony performed at this table.

In smaller locations, you may see a table with only 1 place setting and flags representing all of the services.

In smaller locations, you may see a table with only 1 place setting and flags representing all of the services.

 

Some here 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 me explain the meaning of this special table, and then join me for a moment of silent prayer at the end.

The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.

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 red ribbon symbolizes our continued determination to account for them.

A slice of lemon reminds us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.

The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return – alive or dead.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under God, to sustain those lost from our midst.

The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.

The chairs are empty – they are missing…………….. (silent moment)

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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