Each location at Western Home honored lost and missing soldiers on Veterans Day with a POW/MIA Table. Recognition, celebration, and honor.
This table, set for one, is small, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner, alone against his or her suppressors. The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms. The single red rose in 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 of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.
It is a value that runs deep in the veins of our organization. In resolutions, speeches, hearings, budget recommendations and in Legion posts across the country - where tables are set for one - we stand firm.
As we talked, the image of the black-and-white POW/MIA flag that flies at American Legion posts and public buildings across the country entered my mind. The flag is a powerful reminder that the remains of some 78,000 Americans are unaccounted for from World War II, 8,100 from the Korean War, 1,800 from the Vietnam War, 120 from the Cold War and one from the Gulf War.
In their honor, we set the table for one and acknowledge its meaning.
The yellow ribbon on the vase represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand, with unyielding determination, a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight. A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of their bitter fate.