"Those who have served, and those currently serving in the uniformed services of the United States, are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the biterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured and may still be enduring the agonies of pain,deprivation and imprisonment.
"Before we begin our activities, we pause to recognize our POW's and MIA's
We call your attention to this
small table which occupies a place of dignity and honor.It is set for one, symbolizing the fact members of our armed forces are missing from our ranks. They are referred to as POW's and MIA's.
"We call them comrades. They are unable to be with their loved ones and families, so we join together to pay humble tribute to them, and to bear witness to their continued absence.
"The table is small, symbolizing of the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her uppressors.
"The tablecloth is white, symbolic the purity of their intentions to respond to their Country's call arms.
"The single rosein the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America.
This rose also reminds us the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith, while awaiting their return.
"The red ribbonon the vase repersents the red ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand, with unyielding determination, a
proper account of our comrades who are not among us.
"A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.
"The salt sprinkel on the plate reminds us the countless fallen tears of the families as they waite
"The glass is inverted, they can not toast with us at this time.
" The chair is empty. They are NOT here.
" The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, way from their captors, to the open arms of a greatful nation.
"The Amercan Flag reminds us that many of them may never come return and have paid the supreme sacrifice to insure our freedom.
"Let us pray to the Supreme commander that all of comrades will soon be within our ranks.
" Let us remember---and never forget their sacrifice.
" May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families."