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POW MIA Day 18 Sep 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009 is this years POW/MIA Recognition Day. The day was first commemorated in 1979 but on the 18th of July, it was moved in 1986 to the third Friday in September so as not to conflict with other War recognition days or holidays commemorating Veterans or the fallen. Each year the President of the United States issues a proclamation designating the day as one of National Recognition and for the safe return of all POW’s and those Missing in Action.
Throughout the military on this day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day the table is set and a ceremony held at the Dining Facility (DFAC). In many Veterans Organizations the Missing Man Table is set at every meeting and Public Ceremonies held on this day.
Current POW Afghanistan – PFC Bowe Bergdahl, 501st Inf Reg
Current MIA Iraq 0
CurrentMIAGulf War 0
Cold War - 125
Current MIA Viet Nam - 1731
Missing Man Table
The table is round -- to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.
The tablecloth is white -- symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and the loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.
The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.
A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
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 our country, founded as one nation under God.
The glass is inverted -- to symbolize their inability to share this evening's [morning's/day's] toast.
The chairs are empty -- they are missing.
This ceremony was designed by
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES
OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
Once the symbolism is explained the host proposes a toast to our missing comrades.
Did you know? Federal law requires the POW/MIA flag to be flown on the following days:
- Armed Forces Day, May 16
- Memorial Day, May 25
- Flag Day, June 14
- Independence Day, July 4
- POW/MIA Day, 3rd Friday of September
- Veterans Day, Nov. 11
You will also notice the POW/MIA flag flown at all US Post office buildings, Veterans Administration, military memorial facilities, and many U.S. government buildings.