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POW-MIA Recognition Day is Sept. 15

To the Editor:
POW-MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 15. At the Glencoe VFW Post 5102, the Lonely Table Set for One is displayed in observation of recognition day during the month of September.
This year, Friday, Sept. 15, is set aside to remember all prisoners of war (POWs) and those who are still classified as missing in action (MIAs). Current numbers of POWs/MIAs include:
World War II: 124,079 POWs, 30,314 MIAs; Korean War: 7,140 POWs, 8,025 MIAs; Vietnam War: 766 POWs, 1,719 MIAs; Persian Gulf War: 29 POWs, 21 MIAs; Somalia: six POWs, two MIA; and Yugoslavia: three POWs.
The table is set for one, symbolizing the members of the Armed Forces who are still missing. The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors. The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms. The single rose in the vase signifies the blood they have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the United States of America. The rose also is a reminder of family and friends of the POW-MIA, who keep the faith awaiting their return. The red ribbon on the vase represents the red ribbon worn on the lapels of thousands who demand a proper accounting of all the MIAs/POWs. The slice of lemon is a reminder of their bitter fate. The sprinkling of salt on the plate is a reminder of all the tears their families have shed. The glass is inverted; the POW-MIA cannot toast us as this time. The chair is empty; they cannot be with us today. The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from captors to the open arms of a grateful nation. The American flag is a reminder that many of them may never return — that they have paid the supreme sacrifice to ensure our freedom: their lives.
On POW/MIA Remembrance Day, let’s take a few moments and pray that these individuals are treated humanely or, if they are deceased, that their remains are returned to their loved ones so their souls may rest in peace.
Submitted by:
Virginia Adams
POW/MIA chair
Glencoe VFW 5102