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The POW/MIA table
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The POW/MIA table on display at the Dakota Inn dining facility here is a way Minot AFB pays tribute to our brothers and sisters who cannot dine with us due to their sacrifice in defense of freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Stratton)
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The POW/MIA Table

Posted 9/23/2008   Updated 9/23/2008 Email story   Print story


Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

9/23/2008 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- As many Airmen know the staff at the Dakota Inn here has a POW/MIA table on display to pay tribute to our brothers and sisters who cannot dine with us due to their sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Chief Master Sgt. Mark Clark, 5th Bomb Wing command chief master sergeant, wanted to make the table a point of discussion with all Airmen.

"We need to help them understand the meaning of the POW/MIA table and why it is important that we respect its meaning," said Chief Clark. "We must never forget the sacrifices of those who have served before us and the sacrifices of those involved in the current fight."

What is the significance behind the POW/MIA table?

It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly call POW's or MIA's...we
call them brothers.

They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.

This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.

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 the missing, and the(ir) loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.

The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.

A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families
who seek answers.

The glass is inverted -- to symbolize their inability to share this evening's toast.

The chair is empty -- they are missing.

Remember... all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who
depended on their might and aid, and relied on them... for surely... they have
not forsaken you.

5/31/2010 10:24:36 AM ET
I have seen one of these tables at a local restaurant here in Kokomo Indiana. I have been a proud wearer of an MIA bracelet since 1969 a Major in the USAF who was reported as missing in 1968 in Laos. I will not take it off until he is brought home.
Kathy, Indiana
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