National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year.
Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war and those who are missing in action.
Norma Shaw, of the The Ladies’ Auxiliary-VFW Post No. 2173, set up a POW/MIA table display at the Vandalia Public Library on Friday, September 20.
The POW/MIA table is symbolic of members of the armed forces who have become prisoners of war in foreign countries, as well as those who are missing and unaccounted for. This table is set for one and is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his oppressors.
The solitary candle is reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
The tablecloth is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
The single red rose, displayed in a vase, a reminder of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon shows our continued determination to account for the missing.
A slice of lemon is a reminder 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 Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our coun-try, founded as one nation under God.
The glass is inverted to symbolize their inability to share the day’s toast.
The chair stands empty to express their absence.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and daughter of a World War II veteran, released a statement in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
“Today is a reminder to the loved ones of our missing heroes that the United States will never abandon its obligations. We must continue to raise the level of accountability with our recovery efforts, to ensure those families are getting accurate information, and to ensure their loved ones’ great sacrifices were not in vain. I join Missouri and the rest of America in conveying our deepest gratitude to those who have given their lives for this great country, and to all those who continue to fight for our freedoms today,” McCaskill said.