MONTICELLO – With the traditional table set for one, complete with all of the symbolic objects including a solitary lit candle, a single slice of lemon and an empty chair folded on the edge of …
MONTICELLO – With the traditional table set for one, complete with all of the symbolic objects including a solitary lit candle, a single slice of lemon and an empty chair folded on the edge of the lone table, the Sullivan County Veterans Service Agency held their annual POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony.
The ceremony, held on Friday, September 15, was led by Agency Director Stephen Walsh, who invited Father Ed Bader of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Liberty for his invocation, as well as Veteran Service Agency employees Zack Jones and Joe Putnam.
As Walsh announced the meaning behind each object placed upon the table, Putnam guided the eyes of onlookers with his hand in a solemn gesture. The traditional objects include:
The round table, displaying everlasting concern for our POW/MIA’s.
A white cloth that symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.
A single red rose signifying the blood they may have shed in their sacrifice to ensure the freedom of the United States of America.
A yellow ribbon, which stands for the ribbons worn on the lapels of those who demand a proper accounting of the men and women who are not yet home.
A slice of lemon, which reminds of the bitter fate of those missing, captured and held as prisoners.
A pinch of salt symbolizing the tears of the missing and their families who long for answers.
The lighted candle reflects the light of hope to illuminate their path back home.
The glass is inverted symbolizing their inability to share the evening’s toast.
Both the National Anthem and God Bless America were sung by Marcia Heller.
Walsh noted that hope in bringing those lost home is still alive. Even since just late August, 15 more former U.S. Military servicemen who were previously marked as MIA were identified, with 14 being World War Two Veterans and one being a Vietnam Vet.
A rendition of Taps was performed by Veteran Randy Peers as attendees saluted the flag in remembrance of the remaining service men and women who remain missing in action.
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