The Table set for one is small — Symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.
The Tablecloth is white — Symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
The Single Red Rose — displayed in a vase signifies the blood that many have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.
The Red Ribbon — tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing.
The Lit Candle — Symbolize the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit.
A Slice of Lemon — on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.
The Spilled Salt, piled high upon the bread plate — Symbolic of the families tears as they wait.
The Bible —represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
The Glass is inverted — They cannot toast with us this night.
The Chair — The chair is empty. They are not here.
Remember! — All of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you.
The Table of Remembrance, traditionally began to honors lost Vietnam Veterans, however it now has gone past that point and done to thank all those that have served. This tradition of setting an empty table with a white tablecloth in remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action began with a group of Vietnam fighter pilots.
Started by the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, the so-called River Rats of Vietnam has spread to other branches of the military where remembrance tables, or so-called missing man tables, are a reminder that every single day of freedom is brought to us by that person who is not sitting there.