More than 80,000 United States military service members, from wars and operations dating back to World War II, remain unaccounted for. To make sure they are not forgotten was the mission of POW/MIA Recognition Day, held Sept. 20 at the Veterans’ Memorial at City Hall Plaza.
Speakers at event spoke of those who fought and never came home, leaving little or no closure for their families.
The brief remarks noted the history of POW/MIA Recognition Day and the history of the POW/MIA flag. Among those remarks was one by Ga. Department of Veterans Service Commissioner Mike Roby, who read a letter from Gov. Brian Kemp proclaiming Sept. 20, 2019 as POW/MIA Recognition Day.
Present at the ceremony was a small table and chair placed near the memorial that, to some, might have seemed out of place. But for those who understood, the table and its contents and the chair beside it means everything.
The small table is round to show everlasting concern for America’s missing men.
The tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of the motive when answering the call to duty.
The single red rose in a vase is a reminder of the life of each one missing, and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, awaiting answers.
The vase tied with a red ribbon is a symbol of the continued determination to account for those missing.
The slice of lemon on the bread plate is a reminder of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in foreign lands.
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 this country, founded as one nation under God.
The glass is inverted to symbolize their inability to share a daily toast.
The chair is empty – they are missing.
The symbolism was unmistakable. The only thing left to say is that the whereabouts of those still unaccounted for deserve to be known – they displayed the love for their country by serving and they deserve to have their nation, their elected citizens, display a similar love for them.
The POW/MIA Recognition event was sponsored by American Legion Post 50 and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 9949.