MADISON – As a part of the Madison Memorial Day parade and services, cadets of NCB39 Battalion, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, in conjunction with members of the American Legion Post 39 and VFW Post 7865, conducted a POW/MIA “Table for One” presentation at the Madison Public Library.
Ron Page, the Post 39 Americanism Officer, narrated the ceremony while the cadets set seven specific items on the table, one at a time. An estimated 200 spectators witnessed this significant event.
Page explained that the small table is a place of honor. It is set for one and is our way of symbolizing that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called P.O.W.’s or M.I.A.’s; we call them brothers. “They are unable to be with us this Memorial Day, so we are here to remember them.
“This table set for one is small…it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.
The table cloth is white…it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
The chair is empty…they are not here.
The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.
The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.
A slice of lemon is on the plate…to remind us of their bitter fate.
There is salt upon the lemon…symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait.
The glass is inverted…they cannot toast with us tonight.
The 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 American flag is the symbol of freedom.
Remember…all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied on them…for surely they have not forsaken you.”
Visit the NCB39 Battalion website at http://ncb39bn.sharepoint.com.